Forex reserves fall


Reuters May 21, 2010

KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves fell to $15.05 billion in the week that ended on May 14 from $15.36 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.

Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $11.27 billion from $11.55 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks also eased to $3.78 billion from $3.81 billion, the SBP said. Pakistan received a fifth tranche, amounting to $1.13 billion, of a $10.66 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, the central bank informed a day earlier.

The bank’s spokesman said that the latest tranche would be reflected in foreign exchange reserve data next week. The IMF’s board agreed to release the $1.13 billion in aid for Pakistan and waive some of its requirements at a review last Friday. The IMF loan package was agreed in November 2008 to help avert a balance of payments crisis and shore up reserves. Foreign reserves hit a record high of $16.5 billion in October 2007 but fell steadily to $6.6 billion by November 2008, largely because of a soaring import bill.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 21st, 2010.

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