- China’s ICBC had approved a loan facility of $1.3bn for Pakistan.
- Part of the amount has been returned in previous disbursements.
- Development will boost Pakistan’s low foreign exchange reserves.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is set to give Pakistan $300 million today in a move that will boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves, Finance and Revenue Minister Ishaq Dar said on Friday.
He wrote on Twitter that ICBC had approved a loan facility of $1.3 billion for Pakistan, which had earlier been repaid. The Chinese bank has already returned part of the amount in two previous disbursements.
“State Bank of Pakistan would receive back third and last disbursement today in its account amounting to $300 million,” the finance czar wrote on his official Twitter handle. “It will shore up forex reserves of Pakistan.”
The third critical disbursement from the ICBC will be released after Pakistan completes the necessary documentation.
Last month, the Chinese lender approved a rollover of a $1.3 billion loan for Pakistan. Following the announcement, the Chinese bank deposited $500 million — the first disbursement — on March 4 and then the second tranche of an equivalent amount was released on March 17.
The cash-strapped nation of 220 million people is going through one of its biggest economic crises ever as multiple delays in its loan program created a dollar shortage, and import restrictions and reduced foreign-exchange reserves to less than one month of imports.
The nation’s foreign exchange reserves stand at $4 billion while it needs to pay $2.2 billion in the quarter ending June. It expects to roll over a debt of $2.3 billion, according to State Bank of Pakistan Governor Jameel Ahmad.
More external financing will be coming to Pakistan only after Islamabad signs a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which the minister said should be done by next week.
The lender has been negotiating the deal with Pakistan since end-January to clear its ninth review, which if approved by its board will issue over $1 billion tranche of the $6.5 billion bailout agreed upon in 2019.
PKR on track to become top-performing currency this month: Bloomberg
- Pakistani currency rose around 6% this month against dollar.
- Authorities curb leakages happening through illegal channels.
- Crackdown on illegal dollar traders helps local currency.
The Pakistani rupee is on track to become the top performer globally in September as the caretaker government continues its crackdown on illegal dollar trade, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The local currency rose around 6% this month against the dollar — an amazing feat despite the Thai baht and South Korean won tumbling against the greenback.
Major currencies lost ground against the dollar on speculations that the US interest rates will stay elevated for longer.
The rupee increased 0.1% to 287.95 per dollar on Thursday, after sliding to a record low of about 307 this month. Pakistan’s currency market will remain closed for the Eid Miladun Nabi holiday on Friday.
“Many leakages were happening through illegal channels of hawala and hundi trade from the open market,” Khurram Schehzad, chief executive officer of Alpha Beta Core Solutions Pvt Ltd, told Bloomberg.
“When the dollar rate reverses everybody, the hoarders, the exporters who are holding their export proceeds, start selling their dollars,” Schehzad said.
The interim rulers have intensified efforts by launching a crackdown on people involved in the illegal dollar trade, allowing the currency to gain some lost ground.
The Federal Investigation Agency, Bloomberg reported, conducted raids across the country and security officials in plainclothes were deployed at money exchanges to monitor dollar sales as part of the crackdown.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar this week said the rupee’s gain is “fostering optimism for stability.”
For its part, the State Bank of Pakistan raised the capital requirements of smaller exchange companies and ordered large banks to open their own exchange companies to make the retail foreign exchange market more transparent and easier to monitor.
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inDrive now available in five more Pakistani cities
KARACHI: inDrive, a popular ride-hailing service in Pakistan, has now expanded its network to five more cities across Pakistan including Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.
In a statement issued by the transport company, the inclusion of these cities reflects inDrive’s dedication to bringing innovative transportation options to both urban centres and suburban areas.
Speaking about the expansion, Senior Business Representative at inDrive Hasan Qureshi said: “We are excited to extend the convenience and reliability of inDrive to residents of Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.”
“Our mission is to redefine transportation by providing safe, affordable, and accessible rides to everyone. With this expansion, we are not only enhancing the commuting experience but also contributing to the economic growth and empowerment of these communities.”
PR Manager Sidra Kiran said that their new service offers city residents the convenience of accessing transport from their homes, eliminating the need to search for it.
“Both drivers and passengers stand to gain significant benefits, including time-saving and the elimination of challenges associated with street hailing. This service addresses issues such as locating rides during odd hours like early mornings or late nights,” she stated.
She further added: “inDrive ride-hailing presents numerous benefits to drivers in small cities, including flexible opportunities, reduced unemployment, supplemental income, enhanced community connection, and positive contributions to the local economy.”
The launch of the company in these cities would benefit both riders and driver-partners.
inDrive further said that it remains committed to upholding the highest standards of safety, affordability, customer service, and technological innovation.
inDrive is Pakistan’s premier ride-hailing service and is revolutionising the way people travel. With a commitment to providing safe, affordable, and reliable transportation.
The company allowed riders to connect with nearby drivers with its app.
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