PAKISTAN faces a total of $3.7 billion of debt payments starting this month, Fitch Ratings said, according to Bloomberg.
“About $700 million of maturities are due in May and another $3 billion in June,” Krisjanis Krustins, a Hong Kong-based director at Fitch, said in an emailed response quoted by Bloomberg.
Fitch expects $2.4 billion of deposits and loans from China will be rolled over, the report added. The debt payments underscore the crucial need for Pakistan to resume its bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that has been stalled since November last year.
A successful staff-level agreement (SLA) for the 9th review will unlock a $1.1-billion tranche. Currently, foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are at $4.46 billion, barely enough for a month of essential imports. “Our base case is still that Pakistan and the IMF will reach an agreement on the program review,” Krustins was quoted as saying.
However, the analyst warned that the risks are large and the rating cut in February reflected that a default or debt restructuring is an increasingly real possibility for Pakistan.
Last month, the IMF mission chief said the lender is looking forward to obtaining the necessary financing assurances as soon as possible to pave the way for the successful completion of the 9th EFF review, a statement that came after Pakistan secured $3 billion in fresh inflow from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
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