Pakistan to seek at least $6 billion in 'new IMF loan programme'

By
Reuters
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen in Washington, US. — Reuters/File
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen in Washington, US. — Reuters/File

  • Pakistan will seek to negotiate an EFF with IMF: Bloomberg.
  • Talks expected to start in March or April, as per Bloomberg.
  • Pakistan averted default last summer thanks to an IMF SBA.


Pakistan plans to seek a new loan of at least $6 billion from the International Monetary Fund to help the incoming government repay billions in debt due this year, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing a Pakistani official.

The country will seek to negotiate an Extended Fund Facility with the IMF, the report said, adding that the talks with the global lender were expected to start in March or April.

Pakistan averted default last summer thanks to a short-term International Monetary Fund bailout, but the programme expires next month and a new government will have to negotiate a long-term arrangement to keep the $350-billion economy stable.

Ahead of the bailout, the South Asian nation had to undertake a slew of measures demanded by the IMF, including revising its budget, a hike in its benchmark interest rate, and increases in electricity and natural gas prices.

The IMF and Pakistan's caretaker finance minister did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment on the Bloomberg report.

Pakistan's vulnerable external position means that securing financing from multilateral and bilateral partners will be one of the most urgent issues facing the next government, ratings agency Fitch said on Monday.

"A new deal is key to the country’s credit profile, and we assume one will be achieved within a few months, but an extended negotiation or failure to secure it would increase external liquidity stress and raise the probability of default," it said.