Pakistan set to meet some key targets set by IMF – central bank chief

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KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan’s central bank has met an end-September deadline for a forward book target of $4.2 billion agreed with the IMF, and is comfortably placed to meet others on net international reserves and net domestic assets, the bank said on Friday.

The South Asian nation is trying to navigate a tricky path to economic recovery under a caretaker government in the wake of a $3-billion IMF loan programme, approved in July, that helped avert a sovereign debt default.

Friday’s remarks came in a statement on comments by Jameel Ahmad, governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), at events held on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Morocco.

“The foreign exchange buffers are improving, with both build-up in reserves and reduction in forward foreign exchange liabilities,” the central bank said in the statement, describing comments Ahmad made to investors.

“SBP is also very comfortably placed to meet the other end-September IMF targets, including Net International Reserves (NIR) and Net Domestic Assets (NDA),” the bank added.

Since January 2023, the bank’s foreign exchange reserves have improved from a low of $3.1 billion to $7.6 billion by the end of September, it said in the statement.

The build-up of reserves was largely supported by non-debt creating inflows amid favourable market conditions, it added.

“At the same time, SBP’s forward foreign exchange liabilities have declined and the forward book target of $4.2 billion for end-September 2023 agreed with the IMF has already been met by a wide margin,” the bank said.

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