CHI (Reuters) - Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves rose to a record $17.28 billion in the week ending Jan 15, up from $17.09 billion in the previous one, the State Bank said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rose to $13.66 billion from $13.44 billion in the week ending Jan. 15, while those held by commercial banks fell to $3.62 billion from $3.65 billion, said Syed Wasimuddin, chief spokesman of the central bank. "The main reason for increase in foreign exchange reserves is due to the rise in remittances received from overseas Pakistanis," said Wasimuddin.
According to official data, remittances rose 17 percent to $5.3 billion in the first six months of fiscal year 2010/11 (July-June).
Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves previously hit a record high in the week ending Jan 1 as the country received more than $633 million from the US for providing military and logistical support to fight militancy. In May, Pakistan received $1.13 billion -- the fifth tranche of an $11 billion International Monetary Fund bailout programme.