Dollar reserves up to $16.505b for second consecutive week


Country’s dollar reserves continue to increase for the second consecutive week which saw a hike of 0.3 percent up to March 30. Last week (up to March 23), the country’s foreign exchange reserves had increased by $ 46 million to stand at $ 16.441 billion from $ 16.395 billion the country held the preceding week ending on March 16. During the week under review the country’s holding of the greenback swelled to $ 16.505 billion, up by $ 64 million or 0.3 percent compared with $ 16.441 billion of last week. The positive trend in the foreign exchange is attributable to an upward trend in the central bank’s reserves which rose by $ 70 million or 0.5 percent this week and $ 96 million or 0.8 percent last week. Against last week’s $ 11.767 billion, the bank held $ 11.837 billion during the review week. However, the commercial banks’ reserves again set in the red zone and shrank by $ 5 million to$ 4.668 billion. Last week too the banks had seen their reserves depleting to $ 4.673 billion, down by $ 51 million or 1.0 percent compared to preceding week. After hitting a record $ 18.31 billion mark in July 2011, the country’s foreign exchange reserves are staggering at the $ 16 billion mark with official and unofficial observers citing repayments on account of exports and external loans as a major drain on the dollar holdings.