Saturday, December 18, 2010

Foreign exchange reserves rise to $16.41bn

 Foreign exchange reserves rise to $16.41bn

KARACHI: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves rose to $16.41 billion in the week ending Dec. 11, up from $16.39 billion the previous week, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Saturday.

Reserves held by the SBP rose to $12.69 billion from $12.65 billion in the week ending Dec. 11, while those held by commercial banks eased to $3.72 billion from $3.74 billion, said Syed Wasimuddin, chief spokesman of the central bank.

Pakistan's reserves hit a record high of $17.10 billion in the week ending Oct. 15 because of an increase in remittances from overseas Pakistanis and a narrowing trade deficit.

Earlier the reserves got a boost in September after the IMF sent Pakistan $450 million and said that the money would go toward the budget to help with additional spending for flood relief and immediate foreign exchange needs.

This was separate from the $11 billion IMF bailout programme, agreed in 2008.

In May, Pakistan received $1.13 billion, the fifth tranche of the programme. The IMF is likely to further delay the possible release of the sixth tranche because of the slow implementation of fiscal reforms.

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