The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose 2.84% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

On March 26, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $13,673 million, up $378 million compared with $13,295 million in the previous week.

“SBP received $498.7 million from IMF under EFF program during the week ended March 26, 2021,” it said. “After accounting for external debt repayments, SBP reserves increased by $378 million.”

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $20,836.4 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $7,163.4 million.

Pakistan received the first loan tranche of $991.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 9, 2019, which helped bolster the reserves. In late December 2019, the IMF released the second loan tranche of around $454 million. The reserves also jumped on account of $2.5 billion in inflows from China. In 2020, the SBP successfully made foreign debt repayment of over $1 billion on the maturity of Sukuk.

In December 2019, the foreign exchange reserves surpassed the $10 billion mark.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2021.

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