Foreign exchange: SBP's reserves plunge $358m, stand at $12.35b

Decline for 11th successive week on account of external debt servicing, official payments

Our Correspondent March 01, 2018
Decline for 11th successive week on account of 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 2.82% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday.

The fall marks the 11th successive week of decline, raising concerns over Pakistan's ability to meet future payment obligations and a bulging current account deficit.

On February 23, foreign currency reserves held by the central bank were recorded at $12,345.6 million, down $358 million or 2.82% compared to $12,703.7 million in the previous week.

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

Overall, liquid foreign reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $18,413.3 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,067.7 million.

Foreign exchange: SBP's reserves continue to dip, reach $12.7b

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.