KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves fell to $17.96 billion in the week ending August 20 from $18.04 billion the previous week due to scheduled debt repayments, a senior central bank official said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $14.50 billion from $14.55 billion a week ago, while those held by commercial banks eased to $3.46 billion from $3.49 billion, said SBP chief spokesman Syed Wasimuddin. Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in the week ending July 30. The reserves were boosted in June by inflows of $411 million, including a loan of $191.9 million from the World Bank, and another of $196.8 million from the Asian Development Bank. Higher export proceeds and a record inflow of remittances have helped forex reserves grow steadily.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2011.