ZURICH, May 31 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank bought a net 77 billion Swiss francs ($79.01 billion) worth of financial assets in 2016 as it sought to keep a lid on the strong franc by intervening in currency markets, it said when releasing annual balance of payments data on Wednesday.
"From 2009 to 2016, as part of the implementation of its monetary policy, the SNB intervened – at times considerably – in the foreign exchange market. As a result, the reserve assets increased substantially. In 2016, net acquisition of financial assets in this category amounted to 77 billion Swiss francs," it said.
Reserve assets are central bank assets that are available at short notice and mainly consist of gold and foreign currency investments. ($1 = 0.9745 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by John Miller)