Critical level: SBP-held foreign exchange reserves plummet $584mn, now stand at $6.12bn
- This is the lowest level of SBP's reserves since April 2014
Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell another $584 million to a critical level of $6.12 billion, data released on Thursday showed. This is the lowest level of SBP-held reserves since April 2014.
Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $12 billion as of Dec 16, 2022. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $5.88 billion.
“During the week ended on Dec 16, 2022, SBP’s reserves decreased by $584 million to $6.116 billion due to external debt repayment,” said the SBP on Thursday.
Last week, foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP had fallen $15 million to $6.7 billion.
The low level of reserves underscore the urgent need for the resumption of Pakistan’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, which is currently stalled at the level of talks over the ninth review.
Concerns have mounted over Pakistan’s ability to meet debt obligations, especially at a time the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and recovering from devastating floods that killed over 1,700 people.
On Thursday, global ratings agency S&P Global cut Pakistan’s long-term sovereign credit rating by one notch to “CCC+” from “B” to reflect a continued weakening of the country’s external, fiscal and economic metrics.