UPDATE 1-Swiss Q4 current account surplus increases to 15 bln Swiss francs

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March 22 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s fourth-quarter current account surplus widened to 15 billion Swiss francs ($16.25 billion), 6 billion higher than in the same quarter of 2021, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) said on Wednesday.

“Primary income (lower expenses surplus), goods trade (higher receipts surplus) as well as services trade (lower expenses surplus) contributed to this increase” the SNB said in a statement.

For 2022 as a whole, the Swiss current account surplus increased from 64.4 billion francs to reach 77.7 billion francs.

The figure was the second highest on record, lagging only the 81 billion franc surplus reported for 2010.

In the fourth quarter, Switzerland’s reserve assets fell to 852 billion Swiss francs from 873 billion francs at the end of September, as the central bank sold some of its vast FX reserves.

The SNB has been more active in the foreign currency markets recently, selling foreign currencies in exchange for francs to maintain the value of the safe haven currency.

The move - designed to check inflation from more expensive imports - is a reversal from the SNB’s previous stance of buying foreign currencies to weaken the Swiss franc.

$1 = 0.9228 Swiss francs Reporting by John Revill in Zurich, Tristan Chabba, Andrey Sychev, Anastasiia Kozlova in Gdansk; Editing by Miranda Murray and Toby Chopra