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SBP prepones monetary policy meeting to Mar 2; rate hike imminent
State Bank of Pakistan

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State Bank of Pakistan Reserves Hit 5-Month High, Surging $464 Million to Reach $8.2 Billion

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves grew by $464 million weekly, reaching $8.2 billion by December 29, as per recent data. The country’s total liquid foreign reserves stood at $13.2 billion, with commercial banks holding $5 billion in net foreign reserves.

This surge in reserves was attributed by the SBP to official government inflows. The previous week also saw a significant rise of $852 million in Pakistan’s central bank reserves.

The current SBP reserves mark the highest since July 14, 2023, when they spiked to $8.73 billion after Pakistan received the first tranche of approximately $1.2 billion from the IMF. This followed the approval of a new $3-billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with inflows from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Despite this, reserves faced pressure due to debt repayments, increased import payments after relaxed restrictions, and a lack of fresh inflows.

In a significant development, the IMF announced on November 15 that its staff and Pakistani authorities had reached an agreement on the first review of the SBA. This staff-level agreement awaits approval from the IMF Executive Board, scheduled to convene on January 11.

Upon approval, approximately $700 million will be made available, raising total disbursements under the program to almost $1.9 billion. These anticipated IMF inflows are expected to further bolster SBP reserves.

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