On back of loan from China, SBP-held foreign exchange reserves increase $556mn, now stand at $3.81bn
Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased by $556 million to $3.81 billion, data released on Thursday showed. This is the third successive increase on a weekly basis and comes on the back of a commercial loan from the China Development Bank.
Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $9.26 billion as of February 24, 2023. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks clocked in at $5.45 billion.
“During the week ended on Feb 24, 2023, SBP received $700 million as GoP commercial loan disbursement from China. After accounting for external debt repayments, SBP reserves increased by US$ 556 million to US$ 3,814.1 million,” said the central bank.
Last week, foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP increased $66 million to $3.26 billion.
The central bank reserves, which stood at nearly $18 billion at the start of 2022 but have undergone significant depletion in recent months, underscore the urgent need for Pakistan to complete the next review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
The reserves’ level is at less than one month of import cover, and has prompted severe depreciation of the rupee that closed at a historic low of 285.09 against the US dollar on Thursday.