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SBP-held reserves tick up by $18m

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  • Central bank did not mention any specific reason.
  • Net forex reserves held by commercial banks stand at $5.5bn.
  • Total liquid foreign reserves clock in at $9.8 billion.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rose to $4,319 million in the week ending on March 10, the central bank said on Thursday.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rose to $4,319 million in the week ending on March 10, the central bank said on Thursday.

The central bank, in its weekly bulletin, said that its foreign exchange reserves have increased by $18 million to $4,319.1 million as of the week ended March 10, which will provide an import cover of around a month.

A trend curve of foreign exchange reserves and import cover. — Arif Habib Limited
A trend curve of foreign exchange reserves and import cover. — Arif Habib Limited 

The net forex reserves held by commercial banks stand at $5,527.7 million, $1,208.6 billion more than the SBP, bringing the total liquid foreign reserves of the country to $9,846.8 million, the statement mentioned.

The central bank did not mention any specific reason behind an increase in SBP-held reserves.

Pakistan faces the renewed risk of recession amid a deepening political and economic crisis and a delay in the revival of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailout programme.

Bloomberg survey showed that the probability of the economy slipping into recession stands at 70%, according to the median forecast of 27 economists.

In the last few months, the cash-strapped nation has failed to meet several deadlines to secure funds to stave off a default, which has raised concerns that Pakistan might have to pause debt repayments.

In order to woo the IMF, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government have raised taxes, cut energy subsidies, and hiked interest rates to a 25-year high to tamp down prices, but some issues are yet to be resolved.

Pakistan needs funds to revive its $350 billion economy, ease widespread shortages and rebuild its foreign currency reserves. 

The nation’s dollar stockpile has fallen to less than a month’s worth of imports, restricting its ability to fund overseas purchases, stranding thousands of containers of supplies at ports, forcing plant shutdowns and putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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Pakistan currently has $14.38 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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Pakistan’s commercial banks’ reserves, which stood at $5.28 billion at the conclusion of the week ending on June 7, rose by US$174 million, according to a central bank statement.

Reserving US$6.2 million less, the SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves. The causes for the decline in the reserves it had were not disclosed by the central bank.

The SBP released a statement that stated, “SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on 07-June-2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves were reduced by US$ 63 million as a result of repaying external debt, with the reserves standing at US$ 9.093 billion as of earlier on June 6.

The central bank spokesperson said in a statement that as of the week that concluded on May 31, the nation’s total liquid foreign reserves were $14.31 billion.

In terms of net foreign reserves, commercial banks have US$ 5.22 billion of the overall foreign reserves, according to the SBP.

SBP reserves dropped by US$ 63 million to US$ 9,093.7 million during the week that ended on May 24, 2024, according to the announcement.

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In the local market, the price of gold plummets to Rs240,700/tola.

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Gold with a 24-karat purity level has dropped by Rs1200/tola on the local market.

Each tola of 24-karat gold is now selling for Rs240,700, with a further drop of Rs1029 bringing the price of 10 kilos of gold to Rs206,361. These figures are courtesy of the All Sarafa and Jewelers Association.

Meanwhile, after a $2 decline on the global market, one ounce of gold will be valued $2315.

A tola of gold was worth Rs 600 more on Wednesday.

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