KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves dropped to $16.416 billion in the week ending May 4, from $16.43 billion the previous week, central bank said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $11.978 billion from $12.07 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks rose to $4.438 billion from $4.36 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. Pakistan’s reserves have been drained by debt repayments, including $399 million in the week ending February 24 on an $8 billion International Monetary Fund loan. The next repayment is due by the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2012.
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