Israel's foreign currency reserves reached a record high of $41.4 billion at the end of December, up $4.5b. from $36.8b. in November, the Bank of Israel reported Sunday. At the end of 2007, there was $28.4b. in foreign currency reserves.
The December numbers were up, in part, from an increase of $1.9b. in the central bank's foreign-exchange purchasing program and a rise of $3.1b. in banks' foreign currency deposits with the Bank of Israel from the private sector.
Last year, the Bank of Israel announced a foreign currency purchasing program targeting a level of foreign currency reserves of between $40b.-$44b. Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer has indicated that the bank is considering buying foreign currency beyond the target level.