During the week ending on November 17, 2023, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) experienced a decline of $217 million in its foreign exchange reserves, settling at $7,180.0 million, as revealed by data released on Thursday.

The total liquid foreign reserves for the country amounted to $12.3 billion, with commercial banks holding net foreign reserves of $5.1 billion.

The central bank attributed this reduction in reserves to debt repayments. In a statement, the SBP explained, “During the week ended on November 17, 2023, the SBP’s reserves decreased by US$ 217 million to US$ 7,180.0 million due to debt repayments.”


This marks the second consecutive week of a decline in the dollar stockpile, following a $115 million decrease in the previous week.

It’s noteworthy that in July of this year, the central bank’s reserves received a significant boost as Pakistan received the initial tranche of approximately $1.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This followed the approval of a new $3 billion stand-by arrangement (SBA). Additional inflows were received from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

However, the SBP’s reserves have been facing pressures due to ongoing debt repayments, increased import payments following the relaxation of restrictions, and a lack of fresh inflows.

In a positive development, the IMF announced last week that its staff and Pakistani authorities had reached an agreement on the first review of the SBA.
The staff-level agreement is pending approval by the IMF Executive Board.

The IMF stated, “The IMF team has reached a staff-level agreement (SLA) with the Pakistani authorities on the first review of their stabilisation programme supported by the IMF’s US$3 billion (SDR2,250 million) SBA.”

Upon approval, approximately US$700 million (SDR 528 million) will become available, bringing the total disbursements under the programme to nearly US$1.9 billion.

Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, speaking to the media after the SLA with the IMF, expressed confidence that external financing would not be an issue, anticipating increased inflows in December 2023, which would contribute to boosting the foreign exchange reserves.