IMF Funding Delay Puts Pakistan’s Debt Repayments at Risk, Warns Bank of America Report

Pakistan may be forced to pause its debt repayments if it fails to secure funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) soon, warns a recent report by the Bank of America. The report’s experts, including economist Kathleen Oh, stated that China could rescue Pakistan due to its close ties with the country, but Pakistan’s moratorium looks unavoidable unless the payout comes through soon. Pakistan has implemented several policy measures to unlock funding from its stalled $7 billion IMF loan programme, including increased taxes, higher energy prices, and increasing interest rates to the highest in 25 years. Pakistan has to repay about $3 billion of debt by June, and $4 billion is expected to be rolled over. Its reserves are only enough to cover a few weeks of imports, and the Pakistani rupee has already shaved nearly 20% of its value so far this year. Fitch Ratings warned that default is a real possibility in Pakistan, and the probability is high but less than 50%. However, diplomatic circles in Washington said that Pakistan was “really close” to signing a deal, and it could be finalized in the next few days.

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