KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves dropped by $470 million to $15.536 billion in the week ending June 1 from $16.006 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $11.244 billion from $11.698 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks dropped to $4.293 billion from $4.307 billion. Pakistan’s reserves have been drained by debt repayments, including $399 million in the week ending February 24 on an $8 billion International Monetary Fund loan. The next repayment is due by the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year. Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in July last year, boosted by inflows of $411 million, including a $191.9 million loan from the World Bank and a $196.8 million loan from the Asian Development Bank. Higher exports and record remittances have also supported Pakistan’s reserves.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.