SBP Reserves Decrease by $245 Million to $5.5 Billion

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased by 4.2 percent on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

On December 30, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $5.576 billion, down $245 million compared to $5.821 billion on December 23. The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank are at their lowest level since April 2014.

The SBP said in a statement that the decline in reserves on a weekly basis was due to external debt repayment. According to data shared by Arif Habib Limited, the central bank’s reserves are sufficient for import cover of just over one month.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $11.422 billion. The net reserves held by banks stood at $5.846 billion, registering a decrease of $39 million during the week.

Pakistan’s forex reserves are in continuous decline for the past many months, as the country struggles to secure funding from friendly countries amidst a delay in the next review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

At the start of last month (December), Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had claimed that Pakistan will likely receive up to $3 billion in the form of a deposit from a friendly country. Without naming the country, the minister said that the deposit would be received within the next two weeks. However, the promised deposit is yet to materialize.

On Wednesday, Dar once again claimed that Saudi Arabia and China were set to beef up the country’s foreign exchange reserves, adding that inflows will materialize before the end of the month.