Published On: Thu, May 3rd, 2012

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose rise to $16.43 billion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $16.43 billion in the week ending April 27, from $16.42 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.

Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rose to $12.07 from $11.92 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks fell to $4.36 billion from $4.50 billion.

Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in July last year, boosted by inflows of $411 million, including a $191.9 million loan from the World Bank and a $196.8 million loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Higher exports and record remittances have also supported Pakistan’s reserves.

Remittances from Pakistanis overseas rose 21.45 per cent to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year.

In March, remittances totaled $1.14 billion.

Reserves have since been drained by debt repayments, including $399 million in the week ending Feb. 24 on an $8 billion International Monetary Fund loan.

The next repayment is due by the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year.

KARACHI: In the currency market on Thursday, the Pakistani rupee ended stronger at 90.72/77 to the dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 91.90/95.

The rupee has been supported by remittances, which rose 21.45 per cent to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year.

In March, remittances totaled $1.14 billion.

In its monetary policy statement this month, the State Bank of Pakistan said the external sector was likely to remain under pressure because of both external debt payments and a lack of foreign aid.

Overnight rates in the money market ended at 9.10 per cent, down from Wednesday’s close of 11.90 because of increased liquidity in the market.

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