Falling forex reserves give another jolt to Pakistani rupee
December 16, 2022 11:13 AM
The Pakistani rupee has suffered a fresh blow at the hands of US dollar in the interbank market after the country’s foreign exchange reserves have dropped further, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
As per the forex dealers, the US dollar climbed up by 23 paisas against the Pakistani rupee during the trading on Friday. The greenback ended the week at Rs224.94.
On Thursday, the US closed the day unchanged at 224.71.
The latest depreciation in the value of Pakistani rupee came on the heels of the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan that the country’s foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP have dropped by $15 million from last week and now stood at $6.7 billion as of December 9.
The State Bank’s reserves last recorded below this level were on January 18, 2019, when it had $6.64 billion in its kitty.
According to the SBP statement, the net foreign reserves held by country’s commercial banks now stood at $5.9 billion, meaning the country’s total liquid foreign reserves now stood at $12.6 billion.
Last week which ended on December 2, forex reserves held by the State Bank had nosedived by $784 million to $6.72 billion.
Experts are of the view that the falling forex reserves may make it more difficult for the country to repay foreign loans as the remaining amount of $6.7 billion is just enough to cover over a month’s imports.
In a podcast on December 8, SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad had said that during the last five months, inflows remained at just $4 billion but the figure was expected to rise in the second half of the current fiscal year ending June 2023.
He had added that the SBP paid $1 billion and another $1.2 billion to two commercial banks, which have agreed to relend the same amount in a few days.
According to Ahmad, Pakistan requires $33 billion in financing for the ongoing financial year. Out of this, he said, $20 billion have been accounted for while Pakistan will have to pay $13 billion during the rest of the fiscal year.
Reporter Ashraf Khan