ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday said that China has rolled over the principal amount of $2.4 billion loan for two years, which would ease pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
“Chinese EXIM Bank has rolled over for 2 years principal amounts of following loans totalling $2.4 billion which are due in the next 2 fiscal years: FY2023-24: $1.2 billion FY2024-25: $1.2 billion,” said the finance minister on twitter adding Pakistan would make interest payments only in both years. Pakistan was scheduled to repay $1.033 billion as a principal amount of $1 billion and an interest payment of $33 million in July 2023. Now this principal amount of $1 billion has been rolled over by China. It is worth mentioning here that under the financing arrangement agreed with the IMF for $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA), Pakistan was required for securing the rollover of deposits from bilateral partners, especially from China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in order to keep the foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP at comfortable levels. The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13,534.1 million as of 21-Jul-2023. The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan are $8.186 billion and foreign reserves held by commercial banks are $5,348 billion. During the week ended on 21-Jul-2023, SBP’s reserves decreased by $541 million to $8,186.1 million mainly due to due to external debt repayments.