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Pakistan’s foreign debt, liabilities rise 2.4 per cent in July-September
December 17, 2017
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KARACHI: Pakistan’s outstanding external debt and liabilities rose 2.4 per cent to $85.052 billion in the quarter ended September 2017 from $82.981 billion recorded till the end of the previous quarter, figures from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed on Saturday.

External debt stood at $67 billion by the end of September, up from $66.1 billion the previous quarter.

Data posted on the SBP’s website revealed that the country’s foreign debt and liabilities were 25.1 per cent of gross domestic product, while external debt was equivalent to 19.8 per cent of GDP in the July-September period.

The long-term debt came at $56.237 billion and the short-term debt was at $960 million during the period.

The increase in the external debt was stemmed due to the disbursement from international financial institutions, bilateral loans from China, foreign commercial banks and the sukuk bond proceeds.

The country’s multilateral debt inched up to $27.930 billion by the quarter ended in September, compared with $27.605 billion in the previous quarter.

The debt owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stood at $6.209 billion from $6.109 billion three months ago. The debt against Chinese loans stood at $500 million in the first quarter of FY18.

Debt of public sector firms edged up to $2.994 billion from $2.706 billion in the previous quarter. The companies managed to borrow some debt from foreign sources to run their operations. Analysts said the size of Pakistan’s foreign debt would continue to rise in times ahead on the back of huge loan repayments against the IMF, Eurobonds and other creditors.

“The country is estimated to pay $8-9 billion in the next nine months; (and) even its debt repayment capacity is getting weaker day-by-day,” said an analyst.

“The recent currency depreciation would increase the cost of foreign debt serving as well.” The rupee fell a whopping 4.7 per cent against the surging dollar in a short span of a week. “The government is expected to pay (the borrowed amount) in costly US currency,” he said.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to $20.686 billion by December 8 on the back of external debt payments.

Internews

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