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SBP-held forex reserves increase $280mn, now stand at $4.6bn

  • This is the sixth successive increase in reserves on a weekly basis
Published March 24, 2023

Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased $280 million, clocking in at $4.6 billion as of March 17, data released on Friday showed.

This is the sixth successive increase in central bank-held reserves on a weekly basis, but the overall number still stands at a critical level at around a month of import cover.

Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $10.14 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks clocked in at $5.54 billion.

“During the week ended March 17, 2023, SBP received $500 million as government of Pakistan commercial loan disbursement. After accounting for external debt repayments, SBP’s reserves increased by $280 million to $4,598.7 million,” said the SBP.

Last week, foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP increased $18 million.

Earlier during the month, Pakistan received the second disbursement of $500 million from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Cumulatively, Pakistan has received $1.7 billion from Chinese institutions with another $300 million expected.

However, the critical International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme remains stalled as talks continue after Pakistan announced a new fuel subsidy.

A delay in an agreement with IMF is taking a toll on the economy, particularly the rupee.

A shortage of foreign currency reserves has put added pressure on the economy that relies heavily on imports to run its engines. While the SBP has put some curbs on inward shipments, reducing the current account deficit in the process, many businesses have been forced to either shut down or scale back operations as policymakers scramble to arrange dollar inflow.

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Tulukan Mairandi Mar 24, 2023 08:20pm
Foreign reserves that are built from loans
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KhanRA Mar 25, 2023 01:07am
Took a $500 million loan, but up only $280 million. Can we borrow our way out of this crisis? When will the Sharifs remove Ishaq Dar? Or will they keep protecting him as part of his clan despite his incredible ineptitude?
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KhanRA Mar 25, 2023 01:09am
@Tulukan Mairandi, in all fairness, many countries do this, including India. They run large annual deficits, but have a large store of reserves. The only way they managed this is by debt.
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Muhomad saqib Saqib Mar 25, 2023 08:54pm
Good
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