The State Bank of Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose $4.2 billion to $8.7bn during the week ending July 14, the central bank said in a statement.

The reserves have almost doubled over a week’s time after Pakistan received $2bn from Saudi Arabia, $1.2bn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under a $3bn standby arrangement and $1 billion from the United Arab Emirates, according to the SBP statement.

This does not include the rollover of a $600 million loan from China announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, which is expected to further shore up the SBP’s reserves.

Last week, the central bank said its reserves on July 7 stood at $4.52 billion after an increase of $61m.

The SBP’s reserves started going downhill at the beginning of 2022, falling from $17.6bn on January 7 to $5.6bn on December 30 that year.

The decline continued in the new year, with the reserves hitting the lowest level during this period at $2.92bn on February 3. The last time reserves were below that level was nine years ago, i.e. $2.84bn in February 2014.

However, the situation has improved after the IMF approved a new short-term bailout package for Pakistan amounting to $3bn earlier this month, setting the stage for the arrival of inflows from elsewhere as well.

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