Reserves down on $1.7bn debt payments

Updated Jun 05 2020

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Government pays $1.67 billion as debt servicing, bringing SBP reserves down to around $10.36bn — a five-month low. — Reuters/File
Government pays $1.67 billion as debt servicing, bringing SBP reserves down to around $10.36bn — a five-month low. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: The government paid $1.67 billion as debt servicing during the week ended on May 29, bringing down the State Bank of Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves to around $10.36bn — a five-month low.

The payments also brou­ght the country’s total reser­ves down to a five-month low of $16.92bn, while dollar holdings of the commercial banks increased by $34 million to $6.558bn.

The SBP on Thursday said the government had to pay $1.669bn as debt serving. The government is trying to defer its bilateral debt servicing payments to the G-20 countries for one year and provide a temporary relief to the falling foreign exchange reserves.

In the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, the government has paid around $9.713bn as debt servicing. The number is expected to reach $12bn by end of June.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2020