Pakistan’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Nosedive to $4.3 billion

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Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to $4.3bn, its lowest levels since February 2014. Thursday’s announcement comes at the back of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to the United Arab Emirates where it was disclosed that the Gulf state pledged to roll over $2bn of existing loans while providing an additional loan of $1bn.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to $4.3bn, its lowest levels since February 2014, the country’s central bank announced after paying off some of Pakistan’s external debt payments.

 

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) released on Thursday revealed the figure, adding that commercial banks have $5.8bn, totalling nearly $10.1bn.

 

Pakistan is hoping to end the deadlock as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to release a $1.1bn loan, which is part of the $7bn loan programme the country entered in 2019. It is also seeking immediate financial assistance from its close bilateral partners amid the economic crisis.

 

Thursday’s announcement comes at the back of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to the United Arab Emirates where it was disclosed that the Gulf state pledged to roll over $2bn of existing loans while providing an additional loan of $1bn.

 

In August last year, the IMF released a tranche of $1.17bn, but the next round of funding has been in the doldrums as Pakistan has so far not agreed to the lender’s various conditions such as increasing energy prices and expanding the tax base.

 

Pakistan also suffered from catastrophic floods last year which resulted in the death of more than 1,700 people, affected 33 million people, and caused a loss of more than $30bn to the country.