State Bank reserves fall $830m to $15.6b

Decrease comes due to payment of $1b worth of commercial loan


Our Correspondent May 07, 2021

KARACHI:

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank fell 5.05% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

On April 30, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $15,597.9 million, down $830 million compared with $16,427.8 million in the previous week.

According to the central bank, the reserves decreased due to the payment of $1 billion worth of commercial loan, whose impact on SBP’s reserves was partially offset by official inflows.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $22,742.6 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $7,144.7 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 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.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2021.

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