- Decrease comes on account of external debt repayment
Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decreased $134 million on a weekly basis, clocking in $7.83 billion as of November 18, 2022, according to data released on Thursday.
Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13.65 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks clocked in at $5.82 billion.
“During the week ended on November 18, 2022, SBP’s reserves decreased by $134 million to $7,825.7 million due to external debt repayment,” said the SBP in a statement.
Earlier during the month, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced that the SBP will receive $500 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the ongoing month.
In a tweet, the finance minister shared that the AIIB board approved the funding as “co-financing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded BRACE program for Pakistan.”
“These Funds will be received by State Bank of Pakistan within November 2022,” he said.
The SBP also received $1.5 billion from the ADB on October 26, 2022 as disbursement of loan for the government of Pakistan.
In September, SBP’s reserves had increased as the central bank received the $1.2-billion tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Saudi Development Fund also rolled over a $3-billion deposit with the SBP, an amount that was due to mature in December 2022. However, this development was not meant to increase foreign exchange as the amount was already part of SBP’s reserves.
The reserves’ position is critical for Pakistan which has been desperately seeking dollar inflows to meet its balance-of-payments needs.
A low level of forex reserves has also put pressure on the currency that has only seen stability in recent days.