Pakistan’s reserves climb $18 million to $9.85 billion

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange holdings climbed by $18 million as of March 10 reaching $4.32 billion, according to information issued on Thursday.

The amount of central bank’s reserves stored on a weekly basis has increased for the sixth time in a row but the aggregate level is still dangerously close to a month’s worth of import coverage.

The country’s total holdings of liquid foreign exchange were $9.85 billion as the total amount of net foreign reserves held by commercial banks was $5.53 billion.

The SBP said that its reserves rose by $18 million to $4,319.1 million during the week ending March 10, 2023.

The SBP’s foreign exchange holdings grew last week by $487 million thanks to another loan from China.

The Ministry of Finance has finished the paperwork for the second distribution of $500 million from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday.

“Documentation for second disbursement of $500 million has been completed by Finance Ministry for release of funds to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Out of Chinese ICBC’s approved rollover facility of $1.3 billion (which was previously repaid by Pakistan to ICBC in recent months),” Dar wrote in a tweet.

Moreover, he said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was requesting that “friendly nations” with Islamabad fulfill their promises, which remained the “sole delay” preventing the restart of the delayed program.

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