KARACHI (Web Desk) – The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)-led foreign currency reserves fell further during the week ending May 12 as external debt repayments cut reserves for the third week in a row.

The reserves declined by $72 million to $4.31 billion, according to the central bank. The present stockpiles are sufficient to cover imports costing less than a month.

The country’s overall foreign currency reserves fell back into the single digits, totaling $9.937 billion, including commercial banks’ $5.625 billion holdings.

Commercial banks have $5.62 billion in net foreign reserves, $1.01 billion more than the central bank, increasing the country’s total liquid foreign reserves to $9.93 billion.

Former finance minister Dr Miftah Ismail and some economists have already raised concerns about the country’s uncertain economic outlook, as global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) remain hesitant to release “already committed” loans to cash-strapped Pakistan.

They claim that the nation needs more IMF loans to prevent default in the next fiscal year.

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