KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) plunged 3.16% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday, raising concerns over the country’s ability to finance a hefty import bill and meet debt obligations in coming months.
On July 6, foreign currency reserves held by the central bank were recorded at $9,479.5 million, down $309.3 million compared with $9,788.8 million in the previous week. The decrease was due to external debt and other official payments, according to the SBP statement.
Overall, liquid foreign reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $16,084.3 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,604.8 million. In April, the SBP’s reserves increased $593 million due to official inflows. Pakistan also raised $2.5 billion in November 2017 by floating dollar-denominated bonds in the international market in a bid to shore up official reserves.
A few months ago, the foreign currency reserves surged due to official inflows including $622 million from the ADB and $106 million from the World Bank.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2018.
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