The nation’s foreign-exchange reserves hit a new record high at the end of February for the third straight month, rising $6.67 billion from a month earlier to $485.27 billion, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The rise was due mainly to currency market intervention, which totaled more than 500 billion yen, or $4 billion, a ministry official said in a briefing to reporters.

Interest income from various investments also contributed to the increase, the official said.

The previous all-time high was $478.59 billion in January.

Japan remained the largest holder of foreign reserves for the 39th straight month, according to the latest comparable data, the ministry said.

The reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in foreign currencies plus International Monetary Fund reserve positions, IMF special drawing rights and gold.

Japan had $398.6 billion in foreign securities in February, up from $392.29 billion in January, and $68.47 billion in foreign currency deposits, up from $67.55 billion.

Of the deposits, $6.43 billion was at foreign central banks and the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements, $35.06 billion at Japanese banks and $26.98 billion at foreign banks.

Japan had $8.55 billion in gold, down from $9.04 billion in January.

It had $7.10 billion in IMF reserve positions and $2.54 billion in SDRs.

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