Optimizing foreign exchange reserves: Protection against external shocks in Ghana
Using Least Square Residual Minimization techniques, this paper develops an optimal reserve model, known as the OPREM model, which is essential in optimizing the costs of reserve holding. The paper also sets-out to test and compare the relative predictions of economic trends of the OPREM model as well as the predictions of alternative models in literature. Establishing the predictive accuracy of economic trends of these models are crucial for the gradual and cost-effective accumulation of reserves. The research concludes that, the decision to optimize the cost of reserves under a stable currency environment is reliant on the gold impact factor and not on inflation or interest rates. We also found on further analysis of the OPREM that the OPREM model is better positioned to eliminate the procyclicality and perverse rush in reserve build-ups experienced in developing and emerging countries by effectively setting the reserve stock against economic trends. The research fixes the optimal reserves around a benchmark of 0.7–1.2 of previous year's optimal value. However, in the absence of past optimal values, a benchmark between 2 and 6 times of average inflows for short-term analysis or analysis with small data observations. However, for long-term analysis or analysis with large data frequency (i.e., exceeding 13 data observations), the reserve stock should be fixed on a benchmark of 2–9 times of the average inflows. Copyright © 2022 Abdul-Rahaman, Hongxing, Alhassan Alolo Akeji, Ayamba, Bernard Pea-Assounga and Alhassan.