From Zeeshan Mirza
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 10.85% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
On April 24, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $12,070.3 million, up $1,181 million compared with $10,889.2 million in the previous week. The central bank attributed the increase to receipt of $1.39 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to cushion the economic impact of the Covid-19 shock.
“The SBP has also made government’s external debt repayments amounting to $234 million,” the central bank said in a statement. Overall, liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $18,463 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,392.7 million. Pakistan received the first loan tranche of $991.4 million from the IMF on July 9 last year, which helped bolster the reserves. In late December, the IMF released the second loan tranche of around $454 million.
Previously, the reserves jumped on account of $2.5 billion in inflows from China. Two months ago, the SBP successfully made a foreign debt repayment of over $1 billion on the maturity of Sukuk. In December 2019, the foreign exchange reserves surpassed the $10-billion mark owing to inflows from multilateral lenders including $1.3 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).