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PM Khan says Pakistan to seek IMF bailout

Staff Writer | October 25, 2018
Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) despite a Saudi Arabian offer of a $6 billion rescue package, and is in talks with two other "friendly nations" for more loans.
Imran Khan
Asia   In the short-term the Saudi loans will give the economy breathing room
Khan secured the Saudi package at a high-profile investment conference in Riyadh that has been boycotted by several other leaders over the killing of a prominent Saudi journalist inside the country's consulate in Istanbul.

In the short-term the Saudi loans will give the economy breathing room but not be enough to fully avert a brewing balance of payments crisis, analysts said.

Without naming the countries, Khan said Pakistan was also touch with two other "friendly nations" for loans so Islamabad would minimise borrowing from the IMF, which he said would be "harmful" to the Pakistani public.

"Because when the IMF gives you more loans, they apply more strict conditions, which causes more pain to the public. It brings inflation," Khan said in a televised broadcast.

He is due to travel to China in the first week of November, where he is expected to seek further assistance from its closest ally. Beijing has pledged about $60 billion in infrastructure spending inside Pakistan under its Belt and Road initiative.

On Tuesday, Pakistan said Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year and a further loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports to help stave off a current account crisis.