KARACHI: After having maintained a declining trend in the last three months, the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves witnessed a meagre increase of $258 million to $4.6 billion during the week that ended on Jan 13, but still at an alarming level not sufficient to cover even the country’s three weeks’ imports.

However, the currency dealers said the SBP bought the dollars from the market to improve its reserves. “This has been a common practice for a long time,” they added.

The central bank on Thursday reported that its reserves improved to $4.6bn from $4.4bn in the preceding week. The last increase in SBP reserves was recorded in October 2022 to $8.759bn from $7.859bn in September.

A day earlier, the SBP governor assured the traders and industrialists that dollar inflows would begin in the coming weeks. Neither the businessmen nor the currency experts believed Mr Jameel as he had been telling the nation since he took over the charge that arrangements have been made for repayment of $32 billion required by end of this FY23.

The drying up of foreign exchange reserves contradicted his repeated claims and a growing mistrust of his policies was witnessed during his talks with the business community on Wednesday.

Exchange companies have also asked the SBP to allow them open letters of credit up to $50,000, but no response.

The business community had asked the SBP to clear their LCs up to $5,000.

SBP reported the foreign exchange reserves of the commercial banks declined by $2m to $5.84m while the country’s total reserves were $10.443bn during the week. The dollar traded at Rs229.15 in the interbank with an appreciation of 24 paise over the previous day.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2023

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Rule by law

Rule by law

‘The rule of law’ is being weaponised, taking on whatever meaning that fits the political objectives of those invoking it.

Editorial

Isfahan strikes
Updated 20 Apr, 2024

Isfahan strikes

True de-escalation means Israel must start behaving like a normal state, not a rogue nation that threatens the entire region.
President’s speech
20 Apr, 2024

President’s speech

PRESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari seems to have managed to hit all the right notes in his address to the joint sitting of...
Karachi terror
20 Apr, 2024

Karachi terror

IS urban terrorism returning to Karachi? Yesterday’s deplorable suicide bombing attack on a van carrying five...
X post facto
Updated 19 Apr, 2024

X post facto

Our decision-makers should realise the harm they are causing.
Insufficient inquiry
19 Apr, 2024

Insufficient inquiry

UNLESS the state is honest about the mistakes its functionaries have made, we will be doomed to repeat our follies....
Melting glaciers
19 Apr, 2024

Melting glaciers

AFTER several rain-related deaths in KP in recent days, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority has sprung into...