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Pakistan's forex reserves fall to $15.05 bln

KARACHI, May 20 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $15.05 billion in the week that ended on May 14 from $15.36 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.

Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $11.27 billion from $11.55 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks also eased to $3.78 billion from $3.81 billion, the State Bank of Pakistan said.

Pakistan received a fifth tranche, amounting to $1.13 billion, of a $10.66 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The central bank’s spokesman said the latest tranche would be reflected in foreign exchange reserve data released next week.

The IMF’s board agreed to release the $1.13 billion in aid for Pakistan and waive some of its requirements at a review last Friday.

The IMF loan package was agreed in November 2008 to help avert a balance of payments crisis and shore up reserves.

Pakistan's foreign reserves hit a record high of $16.5 billion in October 2007 but fell steadily to $6.6 billion by November 2008, largely because of a soaring import bill. (Reporting by Sahar Ahmed; Editing by Robert Birsel) (For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: here)

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