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Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves cross $20bn mark

dollars - Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves cross $20bn mark

ISLAMABAD: The foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan have crossed $20 billion after a $3 billion deposit from Saudi Arabia.

According to the latest data released by the central bank, total liquid foreign reserves stand at $22,498.8 million.

The State Bank of Pakistan raised its benchmark interest rate by 150 basis points to 8.75 percent to counter inflationary pressures recently and another hike is expected on December 14.

Inflation had reached 11.5 percent in November, up from 9.2 percent a month earlier. The Pakistani rupee has depreciated more than 11 percent since the start of this year.

Pakistan last week received a $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia as part of an economic support package. The loan from Saudi Arabia will be for one year at a 4 percent interest rate under the terms of a package signed last month.

The loan comes a week after the International Monetary Fund agreed with Pakistan on measures needed to revive a stalled $6 billion funding program. The completion of the review, pending since earlier this year, would make available 750 million in IMF special drawing rights, or around $1 billion, bringing total disbursements so far to about $3 billion.

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