Pakistan Finance Chief Vows Nation Will Meet Bond Payments

Pakistan sees a way out of its current economic crisis without descending into default, thanks to progress on a stalled International Monetary Fund loan as well as spending cuts, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said, Bloomberg News reported. “With the commodity super cycle and Russia-Ukraine war, oil prices skyrocketing and gas going as high as ever been in history, Pakistan and other emerging countries have been facing the worst crisis,” he said in a phone interview. “Nonetheless, Pakistan by having an IMF program, by introducing a significant tight budget and depressing demand for imports has weathered the storm.” He was referring to the nation’s staff level agreement with the Washington-based lender for reviving a $6 billion loan program. Pakistan needs a total $33.5 billion in the year through June 2023, while available financing stands at $35.9 billion for the period, according to a presentation by the State Bank of Pakistan. “Everything is settled now,” said Ismail. “Pakistan is absolutely going to make each and every payment and each and every bond.” Sharjah Islamic Bank received a scheduled coupon payment Monday for its holdings of Pakistan’s $1 billion Sukuk issued in January, said Ali Wahab, the firm’s head of debt capital markets. “Hopefully, this will help in allaying the fears of investors,” he added. Read more.