Pakistan repays $1bn in Eurobonds, says central bank

Pakistan repays $1bn in Eurobonds, says central bank

US dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken March 10, 2023. — Reuters 
  • The bond, launched in 2014, was maturing this month.
  • Payment was made to the agent bank, says central bank. 
  • FM to start negotiations for 24th long-term IMF bailout.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s central bank has repaid $1 billion in Eurobonds, it said on Saturday, a scheduled payment ahead of the South Asian nation seeking a long-term bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

The bond, launched in 2014 and repaid on Friday, was maturing this month.

“The payment was made to the agent bank for onward distribution to the bond holders,” the central bank said in a statement.

Islamabad has been struggling with a balance of payments crisis, record inflation and steep currency devaluation since an IMF standby arrangement averted a sovereign default.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is due to leave on Sunday for Washington to attend the IMF-World Bank spring meeting, where he will start negotiations for Pakistan’s 24th long-term IMF bailout.

Aurangzeb briefed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about the new IMF programme on Friday, the government said in a statement.

The IMF standby arrangement of $3 billion Islamabad secured last summer expired on Thursday. Its final tranche of $1.1 billion is expected to be released after the multilateral lender’s board meets later this month.

The two sides have spoken in recent weeks about negotiating the longer-term bailout to continue with necessary policy reforms to rein in deficits, build up reserves and manage soaring debt servicing.

Pakistan is in discussions with the IMF for a potential follow-up programme, the IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday.

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