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Pakistan seeks $4.2bn from Saudi Arabia amid forex crunch

Emblem, Symbol, Logo REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Saudi Arabia had already rolled over $3 billion in deposits for one year with the State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan has sought $4.2 billion from Saudi Arabia after foreign exchange (forex) reserves reached a critically low level, ARY News reported, citing sources.

Finance minister Ishaq Dar requested Saudi Arabia to urgently provide a $4.2 billion package to Pakistan, sources added.

The government will buy oil and fertilisers worth $1.2 billion from Saudi Arabia on deferred payments, they said, adding that the request has been forwarded to Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. 

Pakistan’s forex reserves are down to $6.7 billion for the first time since January 2019, which is not sufficient to meet the $8.8 billion principal and interest payments during the current fiscal year, the news report said.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia extended a $3 billion deposit it made to shore up Pakistan’s foreign reserves.

In August, Saudi Arabia planned to invest $1 billion in Pakistan after King Salman bin Abdulaziz gave a directive for the kingdom to support the Pakistani economy, Reuters reported, citing state TV.