KARACHI, March 1 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $16.42 billion in the week ended Feb. 24 because of a repayment of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, compared with $16.64 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.
Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $12.06 billion from $12.21 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks also fell to $4.36 billion, compared with $4.43 billion the previous week.
“This includes the repayment of $399 million to the IMF which was made on Feb. 24,” said Syed Wasimuddin, chief spokesman of the State Bank of Pakistan.
Islamabad is repaying an $8 billion IMF loan.
Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in July last year, but have since fallen due to debt repayments
Without additional sources of revenue, that will further drain Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, which were boosted in June last year by inflows of $411 million, including a $191.9 million loan from the World Bank, and a $196.8 million loan from the Asian Development Bank.
Higher exports and a record inflow of remittances have also helped support Pakistan’s reserves.
According to official data, remittances rose 21.5 percent to $7.43 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year (July-June), compared with $6.12 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Reporting by Sahar Ahmed; Editing by Ed Lane