Markets

SBP's foreign exchange reserves fall to lowest level in almost a year

  • Decrease $869mn on a weekly basis due to external debt and other payments, says central bank
Published March 24, 2022

Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) dropped below $15 billion for the first time since April last year after decreasing a massive $869 million on a weekly basis, showed data released on Thursday.

The reserves decreased due to external debt and other payments, stated the central bank. SBP's reserves now stand at $14.96 billion.

SBP-held reserves have been decreasing since December last year, falling nearly $3.7 billion over the course of three-and-a-half months.

Rupee unchanged against US dollar

Meanwhile, data showed total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $21.44 billion on March 18, 2022. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $6.48 billion.

Pakistan has been looking to build its foreign currency reserves on the back of loans, remittances, and higher exports. However, foreign direct investment continues to be an area of concern for policymakers.

On the other hand, the rupee continues to remain under pressure against the US dollar. It remained unchanged on Thursday, the first time in eight sessions that it did not lose value in the inter-bank market.

Still, the rupee has lost 16.21% since its most-recent high achieved in May last year. On a fiscal year-to-date (FYTD) basis, the local currency has depreciated 13.31%.

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