MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' gross international reserves stood at $84.248 billion as of end December, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The figure was 11.8% higher than the end-December level of $75.3 billion. The end-December figure was also higher than the central bank's forecast of $83 billion by the end of 2012.
The forex reserves can cover 12 months worth of imports and are equal to 5.8 times short-term foreign debt based on residual maturity.
The increase in the reserves level was due mainly to the central bank's foreign exchange operations and income from abroad, foreign currency deposits by the national government and state-run Power Sector Assets, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in a statement.
The central bank expects the country's reserves to climb to $86 billion at the end of 2013.
The central bank raised its forecast for balance of payments (BOP) surplus in 2012 to $6.8 billion, way above a previous estimate of $2.7 billion. The country's January to November BOP surplus stood at $8.6 billion.
During 2012, the peso was emerging Asia's second-best performing currency after the South Korean won.
The country gets an average of more than $1.7 billion in remittances from overseas Filipinos each month, helping to support the peso, balance of payments and foreign reserves.