GRAPHIC-Indian reserves rise $20 bln in Q1, buck slower reserve growth trend
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - India has posted the biggest gain in hard currency reserves of any major emerging economy in the past year, bucking the weaker trend in fellow BRICS states Russia, Brazil and South Africa.
Indian reserves stood at $343 billion at the end of March 2015, up more than $20 billion from end-2014 levels and a jump of almost $40 billion from a year ago, this graphic shows:
Reforms after a pro-business government took office last May triggered huge foreign inflows into Indian markets, which the central bank used in order to rebuild reserves.
But Russia's reserves fell $130 billion or 27 percent from last March after authorities spent billions defending the rouble amid last year's oil crash and the conflict in Ukraine. Reserves are $30 billion below end-2014 levels.
Some of this, however, is down to valuations - the euro, comprising 40 percent of Russian reserves is down 23 percent in the past year against the dollar.
"Capital inflows into emerging markets have slowed compared to pre-crisis years, hence a slowdown in reserve accumulation," said Manik Narain, a strategist at UBS, referring to investors' wariness over slower growth and worsening politics in the developing world.
Across emerging markets excluding China, reserves were $4.89 trillion at the end of March compared to $4.94 trillion a year ago, according to this graphic based on data from CrossBorder Capital: