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Pakistan repays $1 billion in Eurobonds, says central bank

Published 04/13/2024, 06:09 AM
Updated 04/13/2024, 06:10 AM
© Reuters. A logo of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is pictured on a reception desk at the head office in Karachi, Pakistan July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo

By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - 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.

© Reuters. A logo of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is pictured on a reception desk at the head office in Karachi, Pakistan July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo

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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