SBP Reserves Up $280 Million to Cross $4.5 Billion Mark

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The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased by 6.3 percent on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday.

On March 17, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $4.599 billion, up $280 million compared to 4.319 billion on March 10.

In a statement, the central bank highlighted that during the week ended on March 17, SBP received $500 million as government of Pakistan commercial loan disbursement.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $10.130 billion, up $292 million over the previous week. The net reserves held by banks stood at $5.541 billion, registering a decrease of $13 million during the week. According to Arif Habib Limited, the current reserves are enough for an import cover of just under a month.

It is pertinent to mention here that China has granted rollover of $2 billion SAFE (State Administration of Foreign Exchange) deposits for one year. In the previous few weeks, the central bank has also received $1 billion from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), in two installments with the third and final installment of $300 million expected in the coming weeks.

However, despite these inflows, Pakistan is yet to secure any financial help from other friendly countries, which is also a prerequisite of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the staff-level agreement.

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