Pakistan’s forex reserves up by $555 million as China comes to rescue

Pakistan's forex reserves

Karachi: Pakistan’s forex reserves shot up by $555.6 million as China came to the rescue of its all-weather friend in the most needed time with a crucial refinancing.

According to data shared by the State Bank of Pakistan, during the week that ended on February 24, 2023, the SBP-held forex reserves shot up sharply by $555.6 million to reach $3.814 billion. 

However, those held by commercial banks dropped marginally by $15 million to clock in at $5.453 billion.

During the period under review, the SBP received $700 million as the government of Pakistan commercial loan disbursement from China. However, after accounting for external debt repayments, the SBP reserves increased by $555.6 million.

Negotiations with IMF ‘about to conclude’: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday that Pakistan’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund related to the completion of the ninth review of a $7 billion loan programme were near conclusion and the staff-level agreement with the global lender will be signed by next week.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the finance czar rubbished rumours regarding Pakistan defaulting. “Anti-Pakistan elements are spreading malicious rumours that Pakistan may default. This is not only completely false but also belies the facts,” he said.

Dar said that the State Bank of Pakistan’s forex reserves had been increasing and were almost near $1 billion, “higher than four weeks ago despite making all external due payments on time”.

“Foreign commercial banks have started extending facilities to Pakistan. Our negotiations with IMF are about to conclude and we expect to sign Staff Level Agreement with IMF by next week. All economic indicators are slowly moving in the right direction,” he added.