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Pakistan plans return to global bond market after IMF bailout

Bloomberg Karachi | Updated on July 04, 2019 Published on July 04, 2019

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Pakistan's Finance Adviser   -  Bloomberg

The IMF approved a $6 billion bailout program on Wednesday

Pakistan plans a slew of overseas bond sales in the coming months, Pakistan's Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said. This comes after the nation secured billions of dollars from the International Monetary Fund.

Preparations are underway for the sale of Eurobonds, Sukuk and Chinese renminbi bonds in the financial year that started this month, Shaikh, the de-facto finance chief, said in an interview on Tuesday. The IMF approved a $6 billion bailout program on Wednesday.

The economy was in a pretty bad shape, Shaikh, who led the team negotiating with the IMF, said in Islamabad. The idea was to shore up the external front. We have been able to mobilize resources.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has relied on funds from allies like Saudi Arabia as well as from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to boost the countrys finances after years of economic mismanagement. The return to global markets will be a key test for Khan as he seeks to turnaround the economy and diversify sources of funding.

Read: IMF board approves $6 billion loan package for Pakistan

Pakistan last tapped the overseas debt market in November 2017, and raised $2.5 billion.

Devaluation

The South Asian nation has weakened the rupee and raised interest rates to deal with the economic crisis and comply with the bailout program, in addition to hiking prices of gas, electricity and fuel -- a move that has angered the public.

We have taken some tough decisions and will continue to do so, said Shaikh, who was appointed a few months ago as part of the overhaul of the economic team.

The government is also seeking to boost sustainable dollar inflows like exports. Pakistan is aiming for exports to increase to $26.8 billion this fiscal year after giving subsidies and concessions on raw material imports, he said.

Were trying to focus on the business side and have realized that the private sector needs to play its role, said Shaikh. All this can help Pakistan to avoid a debt trap, he said.

Published on July 04, 2019

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