Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $63m to $16.04b

Decrease comes due to external debt repayment


Our Correspondent April 22, 2021
PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI:

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank fell 0.38% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

On April 16, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $16,043.9 million, down $63 million compared with $16,106.4 million in the previous week.

The central bank attributed the fall to external debt repayment.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $23,212.8 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $7,168.9 million.

Pakistan borrowed $2.5 billion through Eurobonds on March 30, 2021 by offering lucrative interest rates to lenders aimed at building the foreign exchange reserves.

Pakistan received the first loan tranche of $991.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 9, 2019, which helped bolster the reserves. In late December 2019, the IMF released the second loan tranche of around $454 million.

The reserves also jumped on account of $2.5 billion in inflows from China. In 2020, the SBP successfully made foreign debt repayment of over $1 billion on the maturity of Sukuk.

In December 2019, the foreign exchange reserves surpassed the $10 billion mark owing to inflows from multilateral lenders including $1.3 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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