Taiwan's gold reserves boost overall assets-c.bank

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TAIPEI, Oct 1 (Reuters) Taiwan's forex reserves, the world's fourth largest, include US.1 billion in gold which has helped boost the value of the island's assets, central bank governor Perng Fai-nan said on Monday.

Gold has risen to its highest in nearly three decades as a record-low U.S. dollar against the euro fuelled demand.

Perng said in March last year that Taiwan had more than 13 million ounces of gold in its reserves, worth US billion at that time. The price of gold has since shot up worldwide and is now around US4 an ounce, near a 28-year high.

But Perng, speaking in parliament where he was answering questions from legislators, said there were no plans to raise the amount in reserve of the precious metal.

''We have no plans to increase the amount of gold,'' Perng said.

Taiwan's forex reserves rank behind China, Japan and Russia.

By the end of August, Taiwan said it had US1.4 billion in foreign exchange reserves, which did not include the gold.

Officials said the amount of gold has remained constant over the last few years.

During the session, Perng also said that the central bank had intervened in the foreign exchange market, in line with what dealers have been saying, though he declined to elaborate.

The Taiwan dollar firmed to as high as T.465 to the U.S.

dollar, the strongest level since early January, fuelled by firming regional currencies, rising stocks and as exporters sold U.S. dollars. It stood at T.481 by 0648 GMT.

Some law-makers led by legislator Jih-chu Lee said they would be proposing new central bank regulations to raise the transparency of the authority.

The proposal is still in its initial stage and will need to be discussed within the finance committee of parliament.

One of the changes proposed by Lee was to employ full-time members for the central bank's monetary policy board, similar to the Federal Reserve's system.

Taiwan's central bank has 15 members under the board of directors and another 5 under the board of supervisors. Most are not central bank officials and are only part-time board members.

REUTERS SR DS1525

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