Pakistan receives $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, greets Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. File.  

Pakistan on December 4 received a $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister's finance adviser said, as part of an economic support package.

The South Asian country has faced growing economic challenges, with high inflation, sliding forex reserves, a widening current account deficit and a depreciating currency.

Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves stand at $22,498 billion, based on central bank data.

Shaukat Tarin, finance adviser to Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, thanked the Saudi Crown Prince in a tweet that read, "I want to thank His Excellency Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the kind gesture."

The loan from Saudi Arabia will be for one year at a 4% interest rate under the terms of the package, which was signed last month.

"This is positive news ... and will help bolster both the foreign exchange reserves and sentiments in the forex market," Saad Hashemy, executive director at BMA Capital said.

The loan comes a week after the International Monetary Fundagreed with Pakistan on measures needed to revive a stalled $6 billion funding programme.

The completion of the review, pending since earlier this year, would make available $750 million in IMF special drawing rights, or around $1 billion, bringing total disbursements sofar to about $3 billion.

Pakistan's central bank has raised its benchmark interestrate by 150 basis points to 8.75% to counter inflationary pressures.

Inflation had reached 11.5% in November, up from 9.2% a month earlier.

The Pakistani rupee, which closed on December 3 at 176.77 a tinter-bank against a dollar, has depreciated more than 11% since the start of this year.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 3:39:31 PM |

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