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Pakistan’s forex reserves rise to $16.77 billion

February 16, 2012

State Bank of Pakistan.—File Photo

KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $16.77 billion in the week ending Feb 10, compared with $16.69 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.

Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $12.29 billion from $12.32 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks rose to $4.48 billion, compared with $4.36 billion the previous week.

Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in July last year, but have since eased due to debt repayments.

Islamabad has to start repaying an $8 billion International Monetary Fund loan in early 2012. Without additional sources of revenue, that will put further pressure on Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves.

Reserves were boosted in June last year by inflows of $411 million, including a $191.9 million loan from the World Bank, and a $196.8 million loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Higher export proceeds and a record inflow of remittances have also helped support Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves.

According to official data, remittances rose 21.54 per cent to $7.43 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year (July-June), compared with $6.12 billion in the same period a year earlier.