International Monetary Fund not formally approached by Pakistan for financial assistance: Chief economist

Mae Love
October 10, 2018

Iran's economy is expected to shrink by 1.5 percent in 2018 and by another 3.6 percent in 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in the October update of its World Economic Outlook, heavily downgrading the Islamic Republic's growth prospects with the return of the USA sanctions.

This week, the finance minister will lead a Pakistani delegation at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Bali, Indonesia.

WALL STREET: Banks advanced and technology companies sank for the third day in a row on Monday. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.44 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 7,728.51 at the opening bell.

The Nikkei closed down 1.32 per cent this morning at 23,469.39. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3 percent to 26,289.24.

The benchmark stock index fell to the lowest in more than two years on Monday amid worries of the worsening economic crisis. Markets in South Korea were closed for a national holiday. The Outlook said the global economy is expected to grow at 3.7 percent this year and next year - down 0.2 percentage points from an earlier forecast, as the trade war started to hit economic activity worldwide.

At a news conference at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Bali, Obstfeld said Pakistan is facing financing gaps as it has been hit by a large fiscal and current account deficit, a low level of reserves and a currency he described as "too rigid" and over-valued.

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Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF Economic Counsellor, warned against the rising tide of protectionism, saying that without multilateralism "the world will be a poorer and more risky place".

Those vast debts have prompted worries from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who warned in July that he would be watching to see if Khan's government uses IMF funds to pay off the opaque Chinese loans. Pompeo said that he was looking forward to discussions, but his polite, edgy tone shone a spotlight on deteriorating U.S.

However, in a newspaper article, the country's former ambassador to the World Trade Organisation Manzoor Ahmad said China only accounted for 10 per cent or so of Pakistan's loan repayments.

US light crude was up 40 cents at $74.69.

The IMF said it expects inflation to accelerate around the world this year, due largely to increasing commodity prices.

Tensions have soared in recent months with Donald Trump's administration rolling out billions of dollars in tariffs against China in a bid to tackle its trade deficit and rein in what Washington views as unacceptable trade practices by the Asian giant. The euro rose to $1.1491 from $1.1489.

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