Pakistan’s forex reserves rise 0.6% during the week

Reuters April 16, 2010

KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves rose to $15.05 billion in the week ending on April 10 from $14.96 billion the previous week, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday.

Reserves held by the central bank rose to $11.16 billion from $11.06 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks eased to $3.89 billion from $3.90 billion, said the SBP’s chief spokesman, Syed Wasimuddin.

“There was a bilateral inflow of about $40 million to $45 million,” said Wasimuddin. Pakistan’s foreign reserves hit a record high of $16.5 billion in October 2007 but fell steadily to $6.6 billion by November 2008, largely because of a soaring import bill. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) emergency loan package of $7.6 billion agreed to in November 2008 helped avert a balance of payments crisis and shore up reserves.

The IMF increased the loan to $11.3 billion in July and the central bank received a fourth tranche of $1.2 billion on Dec. 28. The IMF has assured Pakistan it will approve the release of the next tranche at a board meeting on May 3, the country’s prime minister’s office said on Wednesday. The next tranche is of $1.2 billion