MANILA, Philippines - The country's gross international reserves (GIR) hit a record high of $79.3 billion as of end July, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.
The forex reserves in July were $3.2 billion higher than $76.1 billion in June. The BSP said the forex reserves can cover 11.7 months worth of imports, and equal to 6.4 times the short-term foreign debt on residual maturity.
The increase in the reserves level was due mainly to the central bank's foreign exchange operations, its income from overseas investments, and gains on revaluation of its gold holdings, the BSP said in a statement.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco has said the central bank will likely review its yearend forecast for foreign reserves. The central bank is currently expecting reserves to climb to $77.5 billion to $78 billion at the end of 2012.
The Philippine peso is Asia's best performing currency so far this year, with gains of 4.8 percent.
The central bank expects the balance of payments surplus to narrow to $2.8 billion, or 1.1 percent of gross domestic product, this year, from $10.18 billion in 2011.
The country gets an average of more than $1.6 billion in remittances from overseas Filipinos each month, helping to support the peso, balance of payments and foreign reserves.