Foreign exchange reserves rose to a record $18.31 billion in the week ended July 30, up from the previous life-time high of $18.30 billion hit a week ago, a senior central bank official said on Thursday.
Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) jumped to $14.78 billion from $14.74 billion a week ago, while those held by commercial banks fell to $3.53 billion from $3.56 billion, said SBP chief spokesman Syed Wasimuddin.
Foreign exchange reserves were boosted in June by inflows of $411 million, including a loan of $191.9 million from the World Bank and another loan of $196.8 million from the Asian Development Bank.
Higher export proceeds and a record inflow of remittances have helped forex reserves grow steadily. According to official data, remittances rose to a record $11.2 billion in 2010-11 fiscal year, an increase of 25.77 per cent compared with the same period last year.
In May 2010, the government received $1.13 billion in the fifth tranche of an $11.3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme. IMF and Pakistani officials were due to meet in July to discuss the possible release of the sixth tranche but talks have been delayed and no new date has yet been announced.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.