Forex reserves ease to $17.47 billion

Bank reserves rise to $3.45 billion.


Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell slightly to $17.47 billion in the week ended June 25, from $17.52 billion a week earlier, the central bank said on Thursday.

Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $14.02 billion from $14.11 billion a week ago, while those held by commercial banks rose to $3.45 billion from $3.41 billion, SBP said in a statement.

Forex reserves have grown steadily thanks to higher export proceeds, as well as record inflow of remittances, hitting an all-time high of $17.95 billion during the week that ended on March 26. Reserves have since eased slightly on debt repayments.

Remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis crossed $10 billion for the first time, hitting $10.1 billion in the first 11 months of the 2010-11 fiscal year, an increase of 25 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to SBP data.

Foreign exchange reserves were boosted in January by more than $633 million when the United States provided funds for military and logistical support in the campaign against terror.

In May 2010, the government received $1.13 billion in the fifth tranche of an $11.3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme. Pakistan and IMF ended talks last month in Dubai to discuss budget targets for 2011-12 fiscal year. They are due to meet again in July to discuss the possible release of the sixth tranche.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2011.

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