- Decrease comes on account of external debt repayment, says central bank
Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decreased $327 million on a weekly basis, clocking in $7.5 billion as of November 25, 2022, according to data released on Thursday.
Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13.38 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks clocked in at $5.88 billion.
“During the week ended on November 25, 2022, SBP’s reserves decreased by $327 million to $7,498.7 million due to external debt repayment,” said the SBP in a statement.
On November 29, Pakistan received $500 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Ministry of Finance stated.
“Government of Pakistan has today received $500 million from AIIB. The funds are deposited with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and will augment our reserves,” the ministry said in a post on its Twitter handle.
However, the development did not reflect in SBP’s data as the amount was received after the cut-off date. The assistance will reflect in the reserves next week.
The SBP had 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.