Uptick at last: State Bank of Pakistan foreign reserves increase to $4.6b

The foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan witnessed an increase during the week ending Jan 13 after a three-month long declining trend as the amount jumped by $258 million reached $4.60 billion against the previous level of $4.34 billion.

It was October last year when the SBP foreign reserves had touched $8.759 billion against $7.859 billion recorded in September.

However, the currency dealers said the SBP bought the dollars from the market to improve its reserves. “This has been a common practice for a long time,” they added.

Meanwhile, the total foreign reserves of the country, including those with the commercial banks, stood at $10.44 billion.

The figures are shared as the government on Thursday requested the IMF to send its mission to Pakistan next week to conclude a long-awaited agreement to revive the loan programme, as the policymakers feel there is no other option left.

Earlier on Wednesday, SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad had said Pakistan was likely to start receiving dollar inflows from next week. “We are expecting to witness inflows from next week onwards, which would reduce pressure on our foreign exchange reserves.

Shedding light on the involvement of commercial banks in exchange rate manipulation, Jameel announced that an investigation into the episode had been completed, assuring the industry players that strict action will be taken.

“Rest assured all commercial banks involved in manipulating the exchange rate will be held accountable,” he said, adding that the report would be released on January 23 — the same date when the central bank is expected to announce the monetary policy rate.

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