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Foreign exchange reserves of SBP increased by $1.8bn: Hafeez Shaikh

Foreign exchange reserves of SBP increased by $1.8bn: Hafeez Shaikh
December 20, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the foreign exchange reserves of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased by 1.8 billion dollars during this period. In a tweet on Friday, the adviser also said that the current account deficit reduced by 73 per cent during the first five months of current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period last year. He said reduction of three billion dollars in foreign exchange swaps and forward liabilities increased the foreign exchange buffer by 4.8 billion dollars which provided further stability to external account. “Current Account Deficit is down by 72.6% in Nov 2019 & 73% between July-Nov 2019 vs same period in 2018. In 5 months, increase in SBP Foreign Reserves by $1.8B & reduction of $3B in FX swaps/forward liabilities increased FX buffer by $4.8B providing further stability to external account.” Earlier, Hafeez Shaikh has said that the direct foreign investment has increased by 286 percent.  Addressing the two-day Microfinance Conference, he said that Bloomberg had declared Pakistan Stock Market the best stock market of the world in dollar terms. “Moody’s has upgraded the credit rating from negative to stable,” he said. The adviser said that the world had been given the message of economic stability from Pakistan. “Loans to the private sector were affected due to financial deficits in the past. The deserving section of the society can be steered out of poverty,” he said. Hafeez Shaikh said that the private sector will have to lend a helping hand to the government to achieve the economic targets. “In its first quartet, the IMF said that Pakistan has achieved its objective. The portfolio investment has reached to US$1 billion,” he said. He said that the government is giving a subsidy to the industry in electricity, gas and loans, which has sped up the industrial activities. “We will have to reduce the business cost and increase the access to microfinance,” he said.