ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by central bank have increased to $8.64 billion after receiving another one billion dollars from Saudi Arabia on Friday.

“The State Bank of Pakistan has received the remaining tranche of one billion dollars from Saudi Arabia today (Friday),” said an official of the ministry of finance. In last two days, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had received two billion dollars including one billion dollars each from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). “The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank will increase to $8.64 billion after the current inflows,” he added.

Meanwhile, the country’s overall foreign exchange reserves including of commercial banks would enhance to $15.26 billion. “The country’s external financing need for the current fiscal year has already met due to the inflows from Saudi Arabia, UAE and expected financing from China,” said another official. He added that government is in no hurry to take International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme as our requirements are met till June 2019. He hoped that China would likely announce to deposit $2 to $3 billion in SBP’s account in next few days, as the agreement has almost finalized with the neighbouring country.

However, he said, the IMF programme is important for Pakistan for restoring policy lending from World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The multilateral sources like World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others will release the loan once Pakistan enters into IMF programme.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan was facing a financing gap of $12 billion after taking into account all projections of dollar inflows during the current fiscal year 2018-19. The incumbent government after coming into power had approached Saudi Arabia, UAE and China for bailout packages. Saudi Arabia had announced $6 billion package for Pakistan, which included placing $3 billion cash deposits in the account of State Bank of Pakistan. In addition, KSA would also provide a one-year deferred payment facility for the import of oil, worth up to $3 billion. The loan had been made available at 3.18 percent return. Pakistan had already received $2 billion from Saudi Arabia in two tranches in last two months (November and December). However, the country had already utilized the $2 billion in last two months due to external debt servicing and other official payments. 

Similarly, the UAE has also announced to despite $3 billion in SBP’s account. The amount will be paid to Pakistan in three instalments. Sources informed that Pakistan would receive next two tranches each of one billion dollars in next two months (February and March). The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development last month had announced to deposit $3 billion (11 billion Dirhams) in the SBP’s account to enhance liquidity and monetary reserves of foreign currency at the bank.