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Pakistan inches closer to IMF deal as UAE ‘confirms’ $1bn support

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  • SBP is now engaged in needful documentation, Dar says.
  • Last week, IMF indicated it has received assurance from Riyadh.
  • IMF is securing confirmation from international partners.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about their plans of providing $1bn support to Pakistan.

The move will pave way for Pakistan to unlock the critical $1.1 billion loan tranche from the IMF as the Fund was securing confirmation from international partners to meet the financing gap requirements of Pakistan.

“UAE authorities have confirmed to IMF for their bilateral support of [$1] billion to Pakistan,” Dar announced on Twitter.

The finance minister added that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is now engaged in needful documentation for taking the said deposit from the UAE authorities.

Last week, the Washington-based Fund conveyed to Pakistan that it had received confirmation from Saudi Arabia on $2 billion in additional deposits.

“The IMF has indicated it has received the assurance from Riyadh”, State Minister for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha told reporters in Islamabad last week.

Saudi Arabia’s $2 billion and UAE’s $1 billion pledged in external financing support to Pakistan is one of the final conditions for an IMF deal that Islamabad needs to avert a default.

Pakistan has less than a month’s worth of foreign exchange reserves and is awaiting a bailout package of $1.1 billion from the IMF that has been delayed since November over issues related to fiscal policy adjustments. 

‘Pakistan had not reached default level yet’

A day earlier, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that Pakistan had not reached the default level yet.

Georgieva, while addressing a news conference on the spring meeting of Breton Wood Institutions at the Washington-based Fund headquarters, said the Fund was securing confirmation from international partners to meet the financing gap requirements of Pakistan.

In response to a question regarding the looming default risk facing Pakistan, she said: “Pakistan had not yet reached that level and it would not but the country required a sustainable policy framework to avert such risks”.

She said the lender has been working very hard with the authorities in Pakistan within the context of the current programme to make sure the country has the policy framework in place to prevent reaching the point of unsustainable debt.

“My hope is that with the goodwill of everyone, and the implementation of what has been already agreed by the Pakistan authorities, we can complete our current programme successfully,” Georgieva maintained.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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Pakistan currently has $14.38 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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Pakistan’s commercial banks’ reserves, which stood at $5.28 billion at the conclusion of the week ending on June 7, rose by US$174 million, according to a central bank statement.

Reserving US$6.2 million less, the SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves. The causes for the decline in the reserves it had were not disclosed by the central bank.

The SBP released a statement that stated, “SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on 07-June-2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves were reduced by US$ 63 million as a result of repaying external debt, with the reserves standing at US$ 9.093 billion as of earlier on June 6.

The central bank spokesperson said in a statement that as of the week that concluded on May 31, the nation’s total liquid foreign reserves were $14.31 billion.

In terms of net foreign reserves, commercial banks have US$ 5.22 billion of the overall foreign reserves, according to the SBP.

SBP reserves dropped by US$ 63 million to US$ 9,093.7 million during the week that ended on May 24, 2024, according to the announcement.

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In the local market, the price of gold plummets to Rs240,700/tola.

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Gold with a 24-karat purity level has dropped by Rs1200/tola on the local market.

Each tola of 24-karat gold is now selling for Rs240,700, with a further drop of Rs1029 bringing the price of 10 kilos of gold to Rs206,361. These figures are courtesy of the All Sarafa and Jewelers Association.

Meanwhile, after a $2 decline on the global market, one ounce of gold will be valued $2315.

A tola of gold was worth Rs 600 more on Wednesday.

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