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Another $1b bailout package received from Saudi Arabia: SBP

Another $1b bailout package received from Saudi Arabia: SBP

ISLAMABAD: A State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) official on Friday confirmed that a second $1 billion bailout package from Saudi Arabia had been received by Pakistan.

SBP Spokesman Abid Qamar, confirming the development, said that the latest package had shored up the central bank’s foreign reserves, hitting the $9.4bn mark. The SBP spokesman added that another Saudi financial package was expected to arrive in January 2019.

Saudi Arabia had in October agreed to provide Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year to address its balance-of-payments crisis. Additionally, the Kingdom had also agreed to provide Islamabad a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, worth up to another $3 billion.

The country had seen some relief after the first tranche of $1 billion from Saudi Arabia was received on November 9 but the amount had recently run out.

According to figures shared by Prime Minister Imran Khan in October, the country’s total foreign debt had surged to Rs30,000bn within the last decade, while circular debt had reached Rs1,200 billion.