KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves dropped to $15.2984 billion in the week ending August 10 from $15.5422 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $10.8252 billion from $11.0888 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks rose to $4.4732 billion from $4.4534 billion. The reserves witnessed a boost after news that the SBP received $1.118 billion from the US under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). The CSF disbursement eased pressure on the Pakistani rupee and will help the country make payments to the tune of millions of dollars to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), analysts said. Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in July 2011, 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. Pakistan’s reserves have been drained by debt repayments: the next is due by the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.