Foreign reserves ease to $14.98 billion

Reuters April 28, 2010

KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves eased to $14.98 billion in the week ended on April 23 from $15.05 billion a week ago, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $11.06 billion from $11.11 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks eased to $3.92 billion from $3.94 billion, according to the SBP’s chief spokesman, Syed Wasimuddin. 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 last year and the central bank received a fourth tranche of $1.2 billion on December 28. The IMF board will likely meet in mid-May to discuss the approval of the delayed fifth tranche of $1.2 billion for Pakistan.


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