Pakistan in final round of talks with IMF over bailout deal

Pakistan faces chronic unemployment problems with 24 percent of its population living below the poverty line. (AFP)
Updated 20 November 2018
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Pakistan in final round of talks with IMF over bailout deal

  • Finance Minister Asad Umar acknowledged the two sides have differences and that the talks may not end on Tuesday
  • Pakistan has been approaching the IMF since 1980s and received a $6.7 billion loan in 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are into their final round of talks over an $8 billion bailout package Islamabad seeks from the international lending agency to overcome the country’s economic woes.
Finance Minister Asad Umar acknowledged the two sides have differences and that the talks may not end on Tuesday.
Authorities say they are still at odds over electricity rate hikes, as well as interest rate hikes and tax collection targets, and that the IMF is looking for more than Pakistan’s new government feels it can manage.
Pakistan has been approaching the IMF since 1980s and received a $6.7 billion loan in 2013. It’s also seeking fresh loans from China, which has already heavily invested in transport and energy, as well as Saudi Arabia and some other Muslim countries.


Philippine central bank holds overnight borrowing rate steady

Updated 34 min 37 sec ago
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Philippine central bank holds overnight borrowing rate steady

  • The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas left the rate on its overnight reverse repurchase facility unchanged at 4.75 percent

MANILA: The Philippine central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady on Thursday, as expected, in line with the outlook for the inflation rate to cool.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas left the rate on its overnight reverse repurchase facility unchanged at 4.75 percent, as predicted by 11 out of 13 analysts in a Reuters poll.
The central bank raised rates by a total 175 basis points at the past five consecutive meetings to tame inflation, which eased for the first time in nearly a year in November to 6.0 percent.