UAE to invest $1b in Pakistani Firms

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates intends to invest $1 billion in Pakistani companies across various sectors, State news agency (WAM) reported citing an official source in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE is keen to continue cooperation with Pakistan “in various fields, which include gas, energy infrastructure, renewable energy, health care,” the agency added.
The move will likely help revive investor sentiment in the country, which has been beset by dwindling foreign exchange reserves as well as a depreciating rupee. However, as an IMF bailout programme becomes clearer, sentiment has improved and the stock market on Friday rallied by some 670 points.
The IMF is likely to start the process for releasing the seventh and eighth tranches of a loan programme for Pakistan later this week, IMF and diplomatic sources said.
The IMF’s summer recess ends on Aug 12. “So, technically the IMF Executive Board’s meeting could take place before Aug 20, if recommendations are sent to the board by Aug 6,” one of the sources said.
Pakistan and the IMF signed the $6bn bailout accord — Extended Fund Facility (EFF) — in 2019. But the release of a $1.17 billion (seventh and eighth) tranche has been on hold since earlier this year, when the IMF expressed concern about Pakistan’s compliance with the deal.
The last executive board consultation was held on February 2 this year. On July 13, the IMF reached a staff-level agreement on the combined seventh and eighth reviews for the EFF, which has to be approved by the board before it is disbursed.
The sources said Pakistan tried to get the board’s approval before the summer recess (Aug 1 to 12) and sent several officials to Washing¬ton to persuade the Fund to do so. Earlier this week, Army Chief Qamar Bajwa telephoned US Deputy Secr¬etary of State Wendy Sher¬man to seek Washing¬ton’s support for the package. “But the Pakistanis were informed that it’s not possible to hold a board meeting before the recess as a number of members are already on leave,” one of the sources said. –Agencies