SBP’s forex reserves bottom out at $3.086b

This is the lowest level of reserves held with the central bank since Nov 30, 2013
<p>Digital Art: Mussab Iqbal</p>

Digital Art: Mussab Iqbal

Heavy external debt payments, slowing exports and remittances meant that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have plummeted to a near-10 year low of Rs3.086 billion.

According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday evening, the reserves held with the central bank fell by $592 million due to external debt repayments.

As a result, the reserves fell from $3.6784 billion last week to $3.0862 billion for the week ending January 27, 2023.

This is the lowest reserves held by the central bank since Novembe 30, 2013 when reserves of the central bank dipped to $3.048 billion.

The reserves held by private, commercial banks also took a hit, losing $119.3 million during the reivew period. The reserves held by the private banks fell from $5.7748 billion to $5.6555 billion.

Similarly, the country’s cumulative foreign exchange reserves fell to $8.7417 billion. This was down by $711.5 million from $9.4532 billion held last week.

The last time the national forex reserves had slumped to this level was in May 2014 when net reserves had fallen to $8.684 billion.

It bears noting that the last time reserves held by the central bank fell to such a level, the rate of a single US dollar rose to a then all time high of Rs107.51. Similarly, the price of a single US dollar rose to Rs271.36 in the interbank on Thursday.

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