KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) further rose by $487 million during the last week supported by Chinese inflows.
According to weekly foreign exchange reserves report issued on Thursday, SBP’s reserves increased by $487 million to $4.301 billion during the week ended on March 3, 2023 compared to $3.814 billion a week earlier.
Recently, some $500 million were arrived in the SBP’s account from China as government of Pakistan commercial loan. Previously, during the week ended on Feb 24, 2023, SBP also received commercial loan disbursement worth $700 million from China. Overall, Pakistan has received $1.2 billion from China during the last two weeks that help to build the sliding foreign exchange reserves of the country.
On last Friday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had announced the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has approved the rollover of $1.3 billion loan facility and formalities have been completed. As per agreement, ICBC will disburse the amount in three installments and first was received during the last week.
The loan, rollover by the ICBC, was paid by the Pakistan in recent months. Another installment of $500 million from ICBC is likely to arrive during this month. Cumulatively, on back of Chinese inflows, SBP’s reserves have been mounted by the $1.056 billion from $3.258 billion as of February 23, 2023 to $4.301 billion as of March 3, 2023.
The government is also making efforts to finalize staff level agreement with IMF for release of $1 billion of Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme to boost the reserves. Similarly, net foreign reserves held by commercial banks were remained stable at $5.453 billion end of the last week. The country’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves rose to $9.754 billion as of Mar 3, 2023 compared to $9.268 billion as of Feb 24 2023, depicting an increase of $486 million.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023