SBP’s reserves fall below $9.5b as concerns rise

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.

Foreign exchange: SBP’s reserves fall below $9.5b as concerns rise

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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Inaugurated in 1948 by the Quaid-e-Azam, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is now 70 years old

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