Foreign exchange: Worries increase as SBP's reserves fall 1.74% to $12.8b

Reserves decline for ninth successive week due to external debt servicing, official payments


Our Correspondent February 15, 2018
Reserves decline for ninth successive week due to external debt servicing, official payments. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) continued to remain under pressure, decreasing 1.74% on a weekly basis, according to data released on Thursday by the central bank.

The falls marks the ninth successive week of decline, raising concerns over Pakistan's ability to meet future obligations and a bulging current account deficit.

On February 9, foreign currency reserves held by the central bank were recorded at $12,833.9 million, down $226.7 million or 1.74% compared to $13,060.6 million in the previous week.

The decrease in reserves was attributed to external debt servicing and other official payments.

Foreign exchange: SBP's reserves decline 1.31%, amount to $13.1b

Overall, liquid foreign reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $18,968.1 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,134.2 million.

Pakistan raised $2.5 billion in November 2017 by floating dollar-denominated sovereign bonds in the international market in a bid to shore up official reserves.

A few months ago, foreign currency reserves surged due to official inflows including $622 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and $106 million from the World Bank.

Earlier, the SBP received $350 million under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and made payments of $62 million for external debt servicing.

In January, the SBP made a $500-million loan repayment to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China.

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