Forex reserves fall to $11.844 billion

KARACHI: The country's foreign exchange reserves declined to $11.844 billion on the week ending on July 18, 2009 as compared with $12.239 billion last week, data released by the State Bank of Pakistan showed on Thursday.

Total reserves showed a decrease of $395 million during the week. However, the State Bank's reserves witnessed a major decline of $433 million to $8.428 billion, as compared to $8.861 billion last week.

The reserves held by the banks (other than SBP) witnessed an increase of $38 million to reach $3.416 billion, as compared to $3.378 billion last week. Foreign reserves had hit a record high of $16.5 billion in October 2007 but fell steadily to $6.6 billion by November of last year, largely because of a soaring import bill.

Pakistan agreed in November to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) emergency loan package of $7.6 billion to avert a balance of payments crisis and shore up reserves. The fund recently reviewed the country's performance under the deal, and its board is set to meet next month to decide on a third loan tranche of roughly $875 million. The country has also requested about $4 billion in additional financing from the IMF as ‘insurance’ against the economic crisis. staff report

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