The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced a rise of $12 million in its foreign exchange reserves, reaching $8.05 billion, as detailed in a statement released on Thursday. The nation’s overall liquid foreign reserves, encompassing both SBP and commercial banks, amounted to $13.379 billion as of August 11. Among these, commercial banks held net reserves totaling $5.3237 billion, as reported by the SBP.
While the central bank did not provide specifics on the cause behind the augmentation of foreign exchange reserves, the situation presents an upbeat stance. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that the existing reserves would barely cover imports for a span slightly exceeding two months.
Notably, the previous month saw a notable escalation in SBP reserves due to inflows from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), following the formalisation of a $3 billion Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) with the global financial institution.
According to Geo, in a departure from market predictions, the SBP opted to maintain the key policy rate at 22 per cent during the preceding month. This stance diverged from expectations, particularly those guided by IMF recommendations. SBP Governor Jameel Ahmed conveyed this decision following a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. Explaining the rationale, he stated that given the decline in inflation, there was no inclination to increase the interest rate.
During a press conference, Governor Ahmed also shared insights into the nation’s economic trajectory. He projected a growth rate ranging from 2 per cent to 3 per cent for the upcoming year. Highlighting the government’s actions, he mentioned the complete removal of import restrictions. This move, coupled with financial inflows from the IMF and other supportive nations, led to a $4.2 billion upswing in Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves in July.