Pakistan Successfully Clears $1 Billion International Bond Payment: SBP

On Saturday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that the country had fully repaid a $1 billion international bond on April 12, 2024, covering both the principal and interest. The payment was processed through an agent bank, which then distributed it to the bondholders, according to the SBP.

Recent data indicates a stabilization in Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, with the SBP reporting a weekly increase of $19 million. As of March 29, the reserves stood at $8.04 billion.

Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves currently total $13.38 billion, with commercial banks holding an additional $5.34 billion in net foreign reserves.

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) reserves are projected to decrease to approximately $7 billion following recent payments. Nevertheless, the country anticipates an upcoming financial boost from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Recently, Pakistani officials secured a staff-level agreement with the IMF on the second and final review of their $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), signaling continued financial cooperation and support.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is scheduled to convene in late April. Approval at this meeting is set to unlock approximately $1.1 billion (SDR 828 million) for Pakistan, marking the final tranche of the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

Earlier in the week, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, speaking at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank, noted that Pakistan was effectively concluding its current financial engagement with the IMF. She highlighted improvements in the country’s economic performance and mentioned a buildup in its reserves.

While talking about the issues that the struggling South Asian region still needs to address, Georgieva said:

There is a commitment to continue on this path, and the country is turning to the fund for potentially having a follow-up programme. I do believe that there are very important issues to be solved in Pakistan: the tax base, how the richer part of society contributes to the economy, the way public spending is being directed and of course, creating … a more transparent environment.

Published by
Aasil Ahmed