Economics

SBP-held reserves fall to alarming levels, declining by 4%

— AFP/File 

KARACHI:  Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) once again declined by 4.07% in line with the dominant trend over the last several weeks.

On September 23, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $8,005.9 million, down $341 million compared with $8,346.4 on September 16, data released by SBP showed on Thursday.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $13,761.9 million.

Net reserves held by banks amounted to $5,756 million. The central bank cited external debt repayment as a major reason behind the decline.

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

A critical level of reserves has caused severe pressure on the Pakistani rupee with the local unit becoming the worst performing currency this month.

The rupee gained some ground as Ishaq Dar assumed charge as the new finance minister, a development that helped the currency market recover.

The rupee was at the cusp of a fresh historic low; however, Dar’s arrival gave the market much-needed clarity.

The Pakistani rupee appreciated for the 5th consecutive session on Thursday and closed at 229.62.

Source: The News

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