- Fall attributed to external debt, other payments, says central bank
Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) declined a further $754 million, clocking in at $8.58 billion during the week ended July 22, 2022, a fall attributed "mainly to external debt and other payments".
Data released on Thursday revealed total liquid foreign reserves held by Pakistan stood at $14.42 billion as of July 22, while net foreign reserves held by commercial banks amounted to $5.84 billion.
"During the week ended on 22-Jul-2022, SBP’s reserves decreased by US$ 754 million to US$ 8,575.1 million due to external debt and other payments," stated the SBP.
The reserves' position is critical for Pakistan which is desperately seeking dollar inflows to meet its balance-of-payments needs. A low level of reserves has also caused severe pressure on its currency market, with the rupee touching record lows throughout the ongoing week.
Earlier this month, Pakistan reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over fresh disbursement under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF), but inflows are not expected until next month.
At the same time, its reserves position has remained under two months of import cover, with the government, as well as the SBP, introducing various measures to cut down on dollar expenses.