Foreign exchange reserves rose to a record $17.61 billion in the week ended on March 12, from $17.37 billion the previous week, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
Reserves held by the central bank rose to $14.19 billion from $13.97 billion, while reserves held by commercial banks rose to $3.42 billion from $3.40 billion, said State Bank of Pakistan chief spokesman Syed Wasimuddin.
“A rise in remittances and exports led to record foreign exchange reserves,” said Wasimuddin. Foreign exchange reserves touched its previous high of $17.59 billion in the week ended on February 19.
Remittances by overseas Pakistanis rose by 20 per cent to $6.96 billion in the first eight months of the 2010-11 fiscal year, compared to the same period the previous year, according to central bank data.
Foreign exchange reserves were boosted in January by more than $633 million provided by the United States for military and logistical support in the war against terror.
In May 2010, the government received $1.13 billion in the fifth tranche of an $11.3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme. An IMF mission was in Pakistan last week to conduct a review of the country’s economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2011.
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