World Bulletin / News Desk
"Official reserve assets recorded $110.3 billion, indicating a 3.7 percent decrease compared to the previous month," the bank said in its international reserves and foreign currency liquidity report.
According to the report, foreign currency reserves also declined 5.2 percent month-on-month in March to $83.4 billion.
The bank's gold reserves -- including gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped -- increased 1 percent to reach $25.3 billion during the same period.
At the end of March 2017, the bank's total reserves were $105.7 billion, including $87.13 billion in foreign currency along with $17.1 billion in gold reserves.
Over the last decade, the bank's official reserve assets soared by nearly 41 percent, from $76.4 billion at the end of 2007 to last year's close of some $107.6 billion.
Short-term predetermined net drains of the central government and the Central Bank -- foreign currency loans, securities, and foreign exchange deposit accounts of residents abroad within the bank-- dropped 0.2 percent last month versus the previous month, reaching $11.8 billion.
"Of this amount, $7.6 billion belongs to principal repayments and $4.2 billion to interest repayments," it added.
The report also showed contingent short-term net drains on foreign currency inched down 0.1 percent to $66.8 billion in March, compared to the previous month.
According to the bank, contingent short-term net drains on foreign currency consist of collateral guarantees on debt due within one year and other contingent liabilities, which are the banking sector’s required reserves in blocked accounts in foreign currency and gold, and letters of credit items on the bank’s balance sheet.