Pak forex reserves fall below $7 bn for first time since Jan 2019

The foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan plummeted to a critical level after falling 10.45 per cent to $6.7 billion, a four-year low, media reports said.

Data released by the central bank showed that the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $6,714.9 million as on December 2, down $784 million compared to $7,825.7 on November 25, The News reported.

The foreign exchange reserves have fallen below the $7 billion level for the first time since January 2019, the report said.

The current reserves stand at around $6.7 billion — almost equal to $6.6 billion on January 18, 2019.

The central bank attributed the decline to the payment of $1,000 million against maturing Pakistan International Sukuk and some other external debt repayments.

The SBP mentioned that some of the debt repayments were offset by inflows, mainly $500 million received from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), The News reported.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country — including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP — stood at $12,581.7 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $5,866.8 million.

With the current foreign exchange reserves position, Pakistan has an import cover of less than one month.

20221208-222203

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