Foreign exchange: SBP's reserves drop $107m, stand at $12.1b

Published: March 15, 2018
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Decrease for 13th successive week on account of debt servicing, official payments. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Decrease for 13th successive week on account of debt servicing, official payments. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) continued to remain under pressure, decreasing 0.88% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday.

The fall marks the 13th successive week of decline, sparking concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet future payment obligations and manage a bulging current account deficit.

On March 9, foreign currency reserves held by the central bank were recorded at $12,125.7 million, down $107.5 million or 0.88% compared to $12,233.2 million in the previous week.

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

Foreign exchange: SBP’s reserves fall $112m, stand at $12.2b

Overall, liquid foreign reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $18,240.4 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,114.7 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). In January, the SBP made a $500-million loan repayment to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China.

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