Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose slightly to $16.52 billion in the week ended April 6, from $16.51 billion in the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan rose to $11.86 billion from $11.84 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks fell to $4.66 billion from $4.67 billion. Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in July last year, boosted by inflows of $411 million, including a $191.9 million loan from the World Bank and a $196.8 million loan from the Asian Development Bank. Higher exports and record remittances have also supported Pakistan’s reserves. Reserves have since been drained by debt repayments, including $399 million in the week ending February 24 due on an $8 billion International Monetary Fund loan. The next repayment is due in April.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.