KATHMANDU - Nepal's foreign exchange reserves rose to $10.3 billion as of mid-January, helped by a boost in tourism earnings and remittances from Nepalis living overseas, the central bank of the Himalayan nation said on Monday.

Forex reserves rose 8% from $9.54 billion six months ago and are sufficient to cover more than nine months of merchandise and services imports, the Nepal Rastra Bank said in a statement.

Income from tourism, a mainstay of the economy in the country which is home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains including Mount Everest, more than doubled to $216 million for the mid-July to mid-January period from a year earlier, the central bank said.

Remittances from nearly five million Nepalis working overseas, mainly in Malaysia, Korea and the Middle East, increased 13.9% to $4.5 billion between mid-July and mid-January this year, central bank data showed.

(Writing by Shivam Patel; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)