Saudi Arabia Signals It Could Provide Pakistan an $11 Billion Lifeline

Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that it was considering providing up to $11 billion to Pakistan, a potential lifeline to a country facing default, the Wall Street Journal reported. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar in recent months have said they might also offer help to Pakistan, with potential loans and investments from Gulf nations now totaling at least $22 billion after the latest announcement from Riyadh. Gulf countries have said they could extend a similar level of support to Egypt, which is also struggling economically. The support from Saudi Arabia could strengthen Pakistan’s hand in negotiating a restart to a stalled bailout from the International Monetary Fund. Islamabad has so far been unwilling to agree to the IMF’s terms for a deal, which include raising electricity and gasoline prices and increasing taxes. The country’s foreign-currency reserves are fast running out, with financial markets hoping that the IMF program can be put back on track within days. Read more. (Subscription required.)