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All about the foreign exchange reserve currency in Singapore

A foreign exchange reserve currency, also known as an FX reserve currency, is held by a country’s central bank to maintain the country’s foreign exchange reserves. These currencies are typically used to back the issuing country’s liabilities and help stabilize its economy. In addition, they can be used to influence global FX markets.

This article answers some critical questions about foreign exchange reserve currencies in Singapore.

Which countries use foreign exchange reserve currencies?

There are currently about 20 countries that use foreign exchange reserve currencies. The most common ones are the US dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen. Other notable currencies include the British pound and the Swiss franc.

Why do countries use foreign exchange reserve currencies?

There are several reasons why countries might use foreign exchange reserve currencies. One of the most important reasons is that it stabilises their economy. By using a currency that is considered stable and has a strong reputation, countries can help ensure that their currency remains stable and doesn’t fluctuate too much. In addition, FX reserve currencies can influence global FX markets. When central banks buy or sell these currencies, it can significantly impact the markets.

How do foreign exchange reserve currencies work?

FX reserve currencies work by allowing central banks to buy and sell them to adjust the supply and demand. When a country wants to purchase goods or services from another country, they need to convert their currency into another country’s currency. To do this, they sell their currency and buy the other country’s currency. 

However, a central bank can influence market prices by buying or selling currencies on an open market to meet a target price for that particular currency. An example would be if a central bank has agreed with another country that one of its currencies will always trade at a specific price range, then it can use FX reserve currencies to ensure this occurs.

Which country has the strongest foreign exchange reserve currency?

The US dollar is considered one of the most stable currencies in FX markets. This makes it popular as a foreign exchange reserve currency, and it is currently used by over 60 countries worldwide. It also helps that the US economy is one of the world’s largest, which means its currency holds even more weight. 

The euro comes second with around 37 countries that have confirmed they use this particular currency as an official FX reserve asset. While not used by many countries, Japan still uses its yen as an official FX reserve asset for about 22 other nations. The UK sterling is also slowly gaining traction as an FX reserve currency.

What happens if a foreign exchange reserve currency fails?

If a foreign exchange reserve currency fails, it could significantly impact the global economy. This is because many countries rely on these currencies to conduct international trade. If they were no longer available, it could lead to chaos in global markets. In addition, it could cause a country’s currency to become unstable and even collapse. This is why it’s so important for governments to carefully select a foreign exchange reserve currency that is stable and reliable.

Who holds Singapore’s foreign exchange reserve?

In addition to the Singapore government, major international corporations and global banks have a significant part of Singapore’s foreign exchange reserves. Though it is impossible to know how much money these companies hold in Sing dollars, experts estimate that US corporations have at least 16 billion US dollars in their Sing dollar accounts. Similarly, analysts say that European and Japanese companies hold around 4 billion US dollars each.


Singapore is a country that has a strong economy and is considered a global financial centre. New investors wanting to learn more about foreign exchange reserve currency must contact a reputable online broker from Saxo Bank and start trading on a demo account before investing your own money. You can read more here.