Swiss National Bank sold forex worth nearly $150 billion in 2023

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank sold foreign currency worth 132.9 billion Swiss francs ($149.51 billion) in 2023, the central bank said on Tuesday, showing its increased emphasis on supporting the Swiss franc as a shield against imported inflation.

The figure was a massive increase from 22.3 billion francs in foreign currencies sold by the SNB in 2022, when the bank started selling off some of its huge foreign currency holdings.

The SNB’s strategy has paid off, with Swiss inflation within its 0-2% target range for last nine months.

“The SNB’s foreign currency sales contributed to the Swiss franc initially appreciating roughly in line with inflation differentials against other countries,” the SNB said on Tuesday.

“In doing so, they prevented a weakening of the Swiss franc in real terms and thus helped in tightening monetary conditions,” it added. “Towards the end of the year, the inflation rate fell significantly.”

The SNB said it would no longer focus on foreign currency sales after achieving its goal. The central bank is due to announce its next monetary policy decisions on Thursday.

($1 = 0.8889 Swiss francs)

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