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Saturday, June 22, 2024  
15 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Pakistan makes major loan repayment ahead of IMF talks

Pakistan has been grappling with a severe balance of payments crisis, along with soaring inflation

Pakistan’s central bank announced on Saturday that it has successfully repaid $1 billion in Eurobonds, which was a scheduled payment made in anticipation of the country’s pursuit of a long-term bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The bond, which was issued in 2014, reached maturity this month and was fully repaid on Friday. The central bank clarified that the payment was made to the agent bank, who will then distribute the funds to the bondholders, as stated in their official statement.

Pakistan has been grappling with a severe balance of payments crisis, along with soaring inflation and significant currency devaluation, since an IMF standby arrangement prevented a sovereign default. In light of this ongoing financial challenge, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is scheduled to depart for Washington on Sunday to participate in the IMF-World Bank spring meeting.

During this event, he will commence negotiations for Pakistan’s 24th long-term IMF bailout. The government confirmed that Aurangzeb has already briefed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about the new IMF program, as stated in an official government statement.

The previous IMF standby arrangement of $3 billion, which Pakistan secured last summer, expired on Thursday. The final tranche of $1.1 billion is expected to be released after the IMF’s board convenes later this month.

Both sides have engaged in discussions in recent weeks regarding the negotiation of a longer-term bailout program. This program aims to implement essential policy reforms to address deficits, accumulate reserves, and effectively manage the escalating debt burden. On Thursday, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva confirmed that Pakistan is currently in talks with the IMF for a potential follow-up program.

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State Bank Of pakistan