Pakistan's Forex Reserves Ease to $18.11 Billion

Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves eased to $18.11 billion in the week ending July 10, from a record $18.25 billion the previous week, a senior central bank official said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $14.64 billion from $14.79 billion a week ago, while those held by commercial banks edged to $3.47 billion up from $3.46 billion, said SBP chief spokesman Syed Wasimuddin.

"The decline in reserves during the week is due to scheduled debt repayments," said Wasimuddin. Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves were boosted in June by inflows of $411 million, including a loan of $191.9 million from the World Bank, and another loan of $196.8 million from the Asian Development Bank.

Higher export proceeds and a record inflow of remittances have helped Pakistan's forex reserves grow steadily. According to official data, remittances rose to a record $11.2 billion in 2010/11 fiscal year, an increase of 25.77 percent compared with the same period last year. In May 2010, Pakistan received $1.13 billion in the fifth tranche of an $11 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme. The two sides are due to meet this month to discuss the possible release of the sixth tranche, though no official date has been decided.


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