SBP receives $2.10b loan from China
KARACHI: China has deposited $2.1 billion into State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)’s foreign currency reserves to help Islamabad in making international payments mainly on import and debt repayment counters.
Pakistan has so far received a total of $9.1 billion in financial assistance packages from friendly countries during current fiscal year (2019) to date, including $4.1 billion from China, $3 billion from Saudi Arabia and $2 billion from United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Central Bank tweeted, “State Bank of Pakistan has received RMB 15 billion value equivalent to $2.2 billion as proceeds of loan obtained by government of Pakistan from China.”
SBP reserves stood at $8.84 billion as on March 15, 2019, according to Central Bank’s latest weekly report. The latest deposits came from Beijing are expected to boost SBP reserves into double digit after a gap of almost one year.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Asad Umar had estimated financing gap of around $12 billion for ongoing fiscal year 2019 and another $7-8 billion for fiscal year 2020.
The friendly countries have extended soft loan at an interest rate ranging 2.5-5 percent to shore up SBP’s foreign currency reserves and averting payment default.
“Pakistan is scheduled to pay off $1 billion for a maturing Eurobond in April, this will be in addition to other external debt payments during month,” he said.