Pakistan forex reserves drop to $16.416 bln

ISLAMABAD, May 10 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to $16.416 billion in the week ending May 4, from $16.43 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.

Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $11.978 billion from $12.07 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks rose to $4.438 billion from $4.36 billion.

Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $18.31 billion in July last year, boosted by inflows of $411 million, including a $191.9 million loan from the World Bank and a $196.8 million loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Higher exports and record remittances have also supported Pakistan’s reserves.

Remittances from Pakistanis overseas rose 20.23 percent to $10.877 billion in the first 10 months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $9.046 billion in the same period last year.

In April, remittances totaled $1.141 billion.

Pakistan’s reserves have been drained by debt repayments, including $399 million in the week ending Feb. 24 on an $8 billion International Monetary Fund loan.

The next repayment is due by the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year. (Writing by Qasim Nauman; Editing by Chris Allbritton)