On Thursday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) released data that showed the amount of foreign exchange reserves held by the country’s central bank had decreased by 4.2 percent on a weekly basis.
Due to the repayment of external debt and other factors, the SBP’s foreign currency reserves on November 25 stood at $7.498 billion, down $327 million compared to the $7.825 billion held on November 18 when the reserves were $7.825 billion.
It is estimated that the country had a total of $13.378 billion in liquid foreign currency reserves, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP. In total, banks held $5.879 billion of net reserves at the end of March, an increase of $60 million from the previous month. There is a current level of reserves that is the lowest it has been since July of this year.
It is pertinent to mention that during the week, Pakistan received $500 million in assistance from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for the purpose of supporting social protection, food security, and the creation of jobs in the wake of devastating floods and disruptions to global supply chains.
The inflow, however, is unlikely to boost the country’s reserves, as it will be repaying a $1 billion Hong Kong International Sukuk bond on Friday (tomorrow) and the country has no plan to cover the shortfall.