SBP forex reserves fall by $1.7b

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From Zeeshan Mirza

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased 14.17% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On May 21, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $10,362.1 million, down $1.7 billion compared with $12,073 million in the previous week.
According to the central bank, the decrease came on account primarily due to government external debt repayments of $1.67 billion.
Overall, liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $16,920.1 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,558 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. 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).