The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves declined by $115 million on a weekly basis, totaling $7.4 billion as of November 10, according to figures released on Thursday.
SBP Foreign Exchange Reserves
However, the country’s total liquid foreign reserves was at $12.5 billion. Commercial banks held $5.1 billion in net foreign reserves.
The reduction in reserves was attributed by the central bank to debt repayments.
“During the week ended on 10-Nov-2023, SBP’s reserves decreased by US$115 million to US$7,396.7 million due to debt repayments,” it said.
Moreover, Pakistan’s central bank reserves fell by $4 million last week.
IMF Bailout Program
However, in July of this year, Pakistan received the first payment of roughly $1.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after its lender approved a new $3-billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).
It also received inflows from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
However, the SBP reserves have been under pressure due to debt repayments, an increase in import payments following the relaxation of restrictions, and a lack of new inflows.
The IMF announced on Wednesday, in a major breakthrough, that its staff and Pakistani authorities had reached an agreement on the first review of the SBA.
IMF and Pakistan Staff-Level Agreement
The IMF Executive Board must approve the staff-level agreement.
“The IMF team has reached a staff-level agreement (SLA) with the Pakistani authorities on the first review of their stabilization program supported by the IMF’s US$3 billion (SDR2,250 million) SBA,” the financial agency said in its press release.
“The agreement is subject to approval of the IMF’s Executive Board. Upon approval around US$700 million (SDR 528 million) will become available bringing total disbursements under the program to almost US$1.9 billion,” it added.
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