Thursday December 07, 2023

SBP foreign reserves ease to $8.3 billion

By Our Correspondent
September 23, 2022

KARACHI: The central bank’s foreign exchange reserves decreased by $278 million or 3.2 percent during the week ended September 16, it reported on Thursday.

The reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stood at $8.3 billion— enough to cover 1.19 months of imports.

The SBP-held reserves eased mostly owing to external debt repayments, it said in its statement.

Pakistan’s total foreign reserves declined by $248 million or 1.7 percent to $14.1 billion. However, the reserves of commercial banks increased by $30 million or 0.5 percent to $5.7 billion.

The foreign reserves have been depleting fast, despite the revival of the International Monetary Fund loan programme.

Higher debt repayments, rising import bill amid increasing global commodity prices and damage from the catastrophic floods put pressure on the forex reserves.

The country received a $1.1 billion loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund early this month. The additional inflows from the Middle East nations were expected to follow. However, there is no news of the total $9 billion investments and loans that were anticipated to come from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

While Saudi Arabia has already extended a $3 billion deposit that was due in December as part of that help for one year, while the three countries are yet to deliver on their commitments.