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Chances of Pakistan securing IMF bailout are ‘dimming’: Moody’s

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  • Pakistan may not be able to complete the IMF programme.
  • “Pakistan could default,” says sovereign analyst with Moody’s.
  • Pakistan is making a final effort to revive its IMF programme.

As the coalition government struggles to meet external debt obligations, Moody’s Investors Service has warned that Pakistan is at an increased risk of failing to restart its $6.7 billion bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), putting the country closer to a sovereign default.

“There are increasing risks that Pakistan may be unable to complete the IMF programme that expires at the end of June,” a sovereign analyst with the rating company in Singapore Grace Lim said.

Lim said: “Without an IMF programme, Pakistan could default, given its very weak reserves.”

Pakistan is making a final effort to revive its IMF programme, with a financing gap of $2 billion and exchange-rate policy among the biggest hurdles. While the government has pledged to meet billions of debt obligations, investors have remained sceptical about the nation’s dollar bonds trading in the distressed territory since last year.

Pakistan faces about $23 billion of external debt payments for the fiscal year 2023-24, which begins in July. The amount is roughly five times its reserves and most of it is taken from concessional multilateral and bilateral sources.

On Monday, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad denied officials were seeking debt restructuring talks as the country will pay $900 million of sovereign debt in June and expects $2.3 billion of obligations to be rolled over.

The country’s $1 billion bond due in April next year was little changed at about 55.6 cents on the dollar in Asian trading on Wednesday, after sliding almost three cents in the previous two days.

Rupee pressure

The rupee, which is trading near a record low against the dollar, may face further downward pressure, Lim said in an emailed response to questions.

The IMF’s comments on the exchange rate likely referred to the gap in the interbank and retail markets, she said.

The local currency has lost more than 20% this year after officials devalued the currency in January, making it one of the worst performers globally.

Pakistan’s financing options beyond June are highly uncertain, even as its external repayments will remain significant over the next few years, Lim said. Continuing engagement with the IMF would support additional financing from other multilateral and bilateral partners, which could reduce default risk, she said.

Separately, Pakistan is looking to purchase spot shipments of liquefied natural gas for the first time in roughly a year after a rapid drop in overseas prices. This suggests that Pakistan may see itself on a better financial footing, as suppliers were hesitant to sell fuel to the nation last year out of fear it may not be able to meet future payments.

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April FDI in Pakistan increased to $358.8 million, according to SBP

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The inflow for April was $358.8 million, up 177% from $132 million in April FY23. Still, that was 39% more than the $258 million from March.

China was the largest investor, with $439.3 million in FDI from the nation between July and April of FY24—the greatest amount—as opposed to $604 million during the same period of FY23. In April, China accounted for $177 million of the total investment.

With $51.93 and 51.89 million invested in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada came in second and third, respectively.

The power industry was the main draw for foreign investors in FY24, which ran from July to April. This period’s FDI in the power industry was $637.5 million, compared to $776.2 million the previous year. From $338 million to $460 million this year, Hydel Power garnered more attention.

Continue reading: In FY23–24, Pakistan’s per capita income increased to $1680.

According to a separate data released on Wednesday, Pakistanis’ per capita income increased to $1680 in FY2023–2024.

The size of the national economy grew from $341 billion to $375 billion in the current fiscal year, according to figures made public by PBS.

Throughout this fiscal year, Pakistanis’ yearly per capita income increased by Rs 90,534; the monthly rise was Rs 7,544.

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OGRA forbids the purchase or sale of inferior LPG cylinders.

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The 313 LPG marketing and 19 cylinder-producing companies received notices from the OGRA, which described the act of refilling inferior LPGO cylinders as harmful.

Avoid supplying LPG to unlicensed distributors, the OGRA has cautioned LPG marketing companies. Only approved distributors will be able to sell and buy LPG going forward, per the notification, which states that new SOPs have been developed for the LPG industry.

Additionally, the warning said that the decision was made in an effort to preserve both lives and the business in response to an increase in cylinder blast occurrences.

Price reductions of Rs 20 per kilogramme for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were implemented in Quetta on May 3.

There is a reduction of Rs 20 on LPG prices, which means that the price per kilogramme drops from Rs 280 to Rs 260.

The costs of LPG were reduced by Rs 20 per kilogramme earlier, bringing the total decrease to Rs 40 per kilogramme over a few weeks. This is something worth noticing.

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PIA announces a significant student discount.

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According to an airline spokesman, the national flag carrier has recently raised the baggage allowance to 60 kg.

Currently, PIA flies one flight per week on Sundays between Islamabad and Beijing.

The discount may be useful to students who intend to spend their summer vacations in Pakistan or who wish to return home after earning their degrees.

Before, students who wanted to visit China could now receive a 27% reduction on their fares through PIA.

On Eid ul Fitr, the national flag airline also reduced the cost of domestic flights by 20% for both economy and executive economy classes.

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