SBP Reserves Break Streak of Four Consecutive Declines, Up $56 Million

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased slightly on a weekly basis breaking the streak of four consecutive declines, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

On September 15, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $7.695 billion, up $56 million compared to $7.639 billion on September 8.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $ 13.187 billion, up $108 million over the previous week. The net reserves held by banks stood at $5.491 billion, registering an increase of $51 million during the week.

According to Arif Habib Limited, the current reserves are enough for import cover of 1.6 months. Despite the increase during the week, the reserves held by the central bank have fallen by over $1 billion since July 14 when reserves stood at $8.727 billion.

Last week, SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad said that the country’s total external financing requirement for the current fiscal year (FY24) stands at $24.6 billion, which includes interest payments of $3.4 billion and $21 billion in principal repayments.

However, the governor said that out of this amount $2.8 billion has already been paid ($2.2 principal and $0.6 interest) and the central bank has received commitments for rollovers worth $8 billion, with an additional expectation of $3 billion to be rolled over. This leaves the net payable amount at $8 billion for the remainder of FY24.

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