Forex reserves increase to $16.424bn

KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have increased to $16.424 billion in the week ending December 25, 5010 as compared to $16.393 billion, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said Thursday. Reserves held by the SBP increased to $12.709 billion as compared to $12.631 billion from last week, while those held by commercial banks declined to $3.715 billion as compared to $3.762 billion last week. Pakistan’s reserves hit a record high of $17.10 billion on October 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 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 – Dailytimes