KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves rose to a record $17.28 billion in the week ended January 15, up from $17.09 billion in the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.
Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rose to $13.66 billion from $13.44 billion, while those held by commercial banks fell to $3.62 billion from $3.65 billion, said Syed Wasimuddin, chief spokesman for the central bank.
“The main reason for the increase in foreign exchange reserves is the rise in remittances received from overseas Pakistanis,” said Wasimuddin. According to official data, remittances rose 17 per cent to $5.3 billion in the first six months (July-December) of fiscal year 2010-11.
Foreign exchange reserves previously hit a record high in the week ended January 1 as the country received more than $633 million from the US for providing military and logistical support in the fight against terror.
In May last year, the government received $1.13 billion – the fifth tranche of an $11.3 billion International Monetary Fund bailout programme.
In the currency market, the rupee ended weaker at 85.73/80 to the dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 85.68/73 because of rising international oil prices.
In the money market, overnight rates fell to 11 per cent, compared with Wednesday’s close of between 12 and 12.50 per cent, because of increased liquidity in the interbank market. Dealers said there are scheduled outflows of Rs53 billion ($613 million) on Friday.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2011.