E1 New Zealand's official overseas reserves

30 March 2017 03:00 p.m.
Next release
27 April 2017 03:00 p.m.
Reserve Bank of New Zealand, The Treasury
Data files
E1 (1993-current) (XLS 313 KB)
(NZ$ millions) Reserve Bank Treasury Total official reserve assets Other foreign currency assets
Foreign currency reserves Other reserve assets Total Foreign currency reserves Reserve position at IMF Special drawing rights Other reserve assets Total
Securities Cash & deposits Total Securities Cash & deposits Total
Previous years:
Feb 2015 13,397 4,020 17,417 3,267 20,684 874 764 1,638 626 1,589 - 3,853 24,537 752
Feb 2016 8,578 8,891 17,469 2,555 20,024 1,917 832 2,749 595 1,858 - 5,202 25,226 101
Mar 2016 10,041 6,754 16,795 2,744 19,539 2,006 756 2,762 380 1,577 - 4,719 24,258 232
Apr 2016 9,021 9,094 18,115 2,239 20,354 2,319 801 3,120 377 1,575 - 5,072 25,426 201
May 2016 11,699 8,722 20,421 2,650 23,071 2,847 629 3,476 388 1,622 - 5,486 28,557 152
Jun 2016 10,176 7,706 17,882 1,976 19,858 2,592 821 3,413 365 1,525 - 5,303 25,161 528
Jul 2016 7,570 9,423 16,993 1,016 18,009 2,330 1,094 3,424 364 1,520 - 5,308 23,317 458
Aug 2016 10,020 5,891 15,911 3,952 19,863 2,255 882 3,137 358 1,496 - 4,991 24,854 463
Sep 2016 9,155 6,912 16,067 3,227 19,294 2,582 741 3,323 364 1,482 - 5,169 24,463 463
Oct 2016 9,163 8,144 17,307 2,292 19,599 2,490 669 3,159 363 1,476 - 4,998 24,597 393
Nov 2016 8,212 9,191 17,403 1,560 18,963 2,398 410 2,808 358 1,456 - 4,622 23,585 284
Dec 2016 8,463 11,274 19,737 1,814 21,551 1,562 599 2,161 364 1,481 - 4,006 25,557 94
Jan 2017 7,801 11,066 18,867 2,130 20,997 2,355 560 2,915 351 1,405 - 4,671 25,668 319
Feb 2017 7,622 12,382 20,004 774 20,778 2,610 503 3,113 355 1,420 - 4,888 25,666 190

The Data: Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness

Coverage characteristics

Data are disseminated in millions of New Zealand dollars. The series start from January 1993.

Data includes Reserve Bank/Treasury foreign currency reserves: Securities, Cash and deposits, Total and Total foreign currency reserves, Other reserve assets, Gold, reserve position at IMF, Special Drawing Rights, Total official reserves and Other foreign currency assets.




Data is released on the last week of the month after the end of the reference month.

Access by the public

Statistics release calendar

The Statistics Release Calendar is updated and released on the last working day of the month. This is a long-term plan of scheduled releases.


Dissemination of terms and conditions under which official statistics are produced, including confidentiality of individual responses

New Zealand's reporting of international reserves has been modified for March 2000 data onwards to conform to the standards required by the IMF for the purpose of subscription to the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS).

Provision of information about revisions and advance notice of major changes in methodology

Provisional data are italicised. Data are deemed provisional when a series is under review. New data, or revised data, are in bold font. Revisions are generally published when the table is next due to be updated and released. Should revisions need to be made more promptly, a note is posted on the website.

The Bank has amended the definitions and presentation of international reserves data published in table E1 to conform to the SDDS standards and mapped the E1 presentation to the SDDS template. Any major changes in methodology will be posted below in "Additional notes".


Dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources used in preparing statistics

Data is provided from the accounting systems of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and NZDMO and prepared in accordance with the IMF data template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity.

View background on SDDS

Dissemination of statistics that support statistical cross-checks and provide assurance of reasonableness

This table is a summary of the IMF Template.

Additional notes

New Zealand's reporting of international reserves has been modified for March 2000 data onwards, to conform to the standards required by the IMF for the purpose of subscription to the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS). The format for presentation of this data for SDDS purposes is prescribed by the IMF in a data template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity. This template conveys more comprehensive information on international reserves than previously provided for New Zealand's international reserves. It will be updated each month and disseminated on the Bank's website before the end of the following month.

The Bank has amended the definitions and presentation of international reserves data published in table E1 to conform to the SDDS standards and mapped the E1 presentation to the SDDS template.

Changes to E1 and IMF Template (SDDS)

After consultation with the IMF, the E1 series and IMF Template (SDDS) have been revised to reflect the following changes:

  • A reclassification of investments previously included in 'Deposits' to 'Securities' and 'Other reserve assets'.  This change has no effect on Total foreign currency reserves.
  • Securities lent under securities lending agent arrangements have been reclassified from 'Other reserve assets' to 'Securities'.  This change has no effect on Total foreign currency reserves.
  • The inclusion of the net market value of liquidity management swaps in 'Other reserve assets'.  The inclusion of this amount will change the Total foreign currency reserves figure.

Revisions have been made from September 2005 to April 2007.  The changes have no material effect prior to September 2005.

18 June 2007

Revisions were made to table E1 and the IMF SDDS Template due to cash collateral received (which are repayable to the counterparty when market conditions change or the underlying transactions mature and are settled) being reclassified as an illiquid asset, and consequently removed from Official Reserve Assets.

These revisions affect the months from October 2008 to July 2009.

30 December 2009

Changes in Liquidity Management

Some Reserve Bank balance sheet, foreign currency asset and liquidity management data series disseminated monthly have recently begun to reflect changes made this year to the Bank's liquidity management policy.

As explained in the document Reform of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's Liquidity Management Operations, 2006, (PDF 282 KB) a new approach to liquidity management policy is now being phased in by the Bank. Increasing liquidity needs of the banking system at a time when availability of government securities was declining, have prompted the Bank to move away from a system relying on bank holdings of government debt as the basis for generating the cash needed to facilitate interbank settlement of payments.

In February 2006 the Bank increased the level of settlement cash in the system to $2 billion to meet immediate needs. From July 2006 the level of settlement cash will be increased further over time to a likely range of $5 - $7 billion. This new liquidity management policy manifests in the Bank's balance sheet and foreign currency reserves, with larger domestic liabilities matched by larger foreign exchange assets. At present the Bank is holding foreign currency assets as the counterpart to the increased settlement cash made available to the domestic banks The foreign exchange risk on the foreign currency assets is hedged, using off-balance sheet transactions (foreign exchange swaps).


Highly liquid, marketable equity and debt securities, issued by non-resident entities. Excludes securities lent under repurchase agreements (repo). Includes securities lent under securities lending agent arrangements that are liquid and available on demand.

Cash and deposits

Short-term deposits/loans with foreign central banks, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and other banks, that are redeemable on demand.


The sum of the above components. For the Reserve Bank of New Zealand this includes the impact of currency swaps undertaken as part of RBNZ domestic liquidity management operations (eg if NZD is lent and USD borrowed, then USD deposits/securities are increased accordingly; if NZD is borrowed and swapped into USD, then USD deposits/securities are increased accordingly).

Total foreign currency reserves

Total New Zealand foreign currency reserves (the sum of the above for both the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and The Treasury). Note that the Treasury reserves are a hedging instrument for an existing liability portfolio, and will diminish over time as liabilities mature. In the interim however, they are available for intervention, should the need arise.

Other reserve assets

Other assets that are readily liquid and available for use as reserve assets, but not included in other categories. Includes:

  • The net, marked-to-market value of highly liquid financial derivative positions with non-residents, where such derivative products pertain to the management of reserve assets (such derivative positions denominated and settled in foreign currency).
  • Short-term foreign currency loans redeemable on demand provided to non-bank non-residents.
  • Reverse-repo assets. The RBNZ uses these instruments in its management of its foreign reserves and considers these fully equivalent for these purposes to all other foreign currency reserve assets.


Gold held by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and The Treasury as a reserve asset.

Reserve position at IMF

The reserve tranche position. The sum of (1) SDR and foreign currency amounts that New Zealand may draw from the IMF at short notice and without condition from its ‘reserve tranche' and (2) indebtedness of the IMF (under a loan agreement) readily available to New Zealand including New Zealand's lending to the IMF under the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB) and the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB). Effectively the amount of foreign currency that a member has invested in the IMF.

Special Drawing Rights

SDRs are international reserve assets the IMF has created to supplement the reserves of IMF member countries. SDRs are allocated in proportion to each country's respective quota.

Total official reserves

The sum of all components identified above.

Other foreign currency assets

Includes foreign currency securities issued by institutions headquartered and located in New Zealand; all other securities/deposits/financial derivative positions/loans/gold not included in official reserve assets.


The IMF is a quota-based institution. Each member of the IMF is assigned a quota, which is expressed in SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and is equal to its subscription of capital to the IMF. The sum of members quotas thus represents the pool of assets (gold, SDRs and currencies) held by the IMF. When a country becomes a member of the IMF, an amount not exceeding 25 percent of its quota has to be paid in SDRs or usable currencies ("reserve assets") specified by the IMF and the balance in the member's own currency, normally in the form of non-negotiable, non-interest-bearing notes (essentially promissory notes). When quotas are increased, 25 percent of each member's increase is normally payable in SDRs, although the IMF may accept payment in other members' currencies, or the member's own currency. The balance of the quota increase is payable in the member's currency.

NZ currency subscription

That portion of the quota subscribed for in NZD.


That portion of the quota subscribed for using other acceptable reserve assets.

IMF holdings of NZ currency

NZ currency subscription plus reserve tranche drawings outstanding.

Reserve tranche position

The portion of a member's quota paid in reserve assets (effectively the amount of foreign currency that a member has invested in the IMF). Reflects the reserve assets that a member has transferred to the IMF and is measured by the extent that the member's quota exceeds the IMF's holdings of its currency. A member may draw up to the full amount of its reserve tranche position at any time (subject only to its representation to the IMF that it has a balance of payments need) by transferring to the IMF an equivalent amount of its own currency. Such a drawing does not constitute a use of IMF credit, as a member's reserve position is considered part of the member's foreign reserves, and is not subject to an obligation to repay.

Drawings outstanding – reserve tranche

Borrowing by New Zealand, from the IMF, of the subscriptions paid by New Zealand in other than NZD (such borrowings are covered by a payment of NZD to the IMF, included in IMF holdings of NZ currency (above)).

Special Drawing Rights position


The cumulative allocation of SDRs to New Zealand; representing a claim of the IMF against New Zealand.


SDRs currently held by New Zealand

SDR value

NZ/SDR exchange rate. The IMF's unit of account is the special drawing right (SDR), an international reserve asset created by the IMF and allocated to its members since 1970 in proportion to their respective quotas, whose value is calculated daily on the basis of a "valuation basket" comprising G5 currencies. The SDR valuation basket is normally reviewed every five years.

Symbols and conventions

0 Value rounded to zero
- Zero or not applicable
.. Not available
bold Revised/new
italics Provisional

General notes

  • Individual figures may not sum to the totals due to rounding
  • Percentage changes are calculated on unrounded numbers
  • You are free to copy, distribute and adapt these statistics subject to the conditions listed on our copyright page.

New Zealand’s international reserves and foreign currency liquidity