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Pakistan to seek IMF bailout despite $6 billion Saudi rescue

Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan,Saudi Arabia Minister of State Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, attend the investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 23, 2018.  REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Pakistan still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) despite a Saudi Arabian offer of a $6 billion rescue package, Pakistan’s finance ministry said on Wednesday (24).

“Yes, we are going ahead into programme negotiations with (IMF) in the first week of November,” Noor Ahmed, spokesman for the ministry, told Reuters in a text message.

On Tuesday (23), Pakistan announced Saudi Arabia had agreed to give Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year and a further loan worth up to $3bn in deferred payments for oil imports to help stave off a current account crisis.

Pakistan’s main stock market index shot up 3.3 percent in early trading on the news of the Saudi help.

Prime minister Imran Khan said this week Pakistan was seeking help from “friendly nations”, which is usually a reference to close allies Saudi Arabia and China, to go with any IMF programme.

Khan is due to travel to China in the first week of November, where he is expected to seek further assistance.