A man sweeps in front of campaign posters in Karachi, Pakistan. (Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg)

Pakistan Receives Another $1 Billion From Saudi Support Package

(Bloomberg) -- In another boost to the nation’s dwindling dollar reserves, Pakistan on Friday received $1 billion from Saudi Arabia.

South Asia’s second-largest economy is expecting its third and final $1 billion tranche from Riyadh next month to help ease Pakistan’s financial crunch, Abid Qamar, a spokesman for the State Bank of Pakistan, told Bloomberg by phone.

Islamabad is looking to bridge a gap of at least $12 billion caused by its latest balance-of-payments crisis and is currently negotiating its 13th bailout since the late 1980s with the International Monetary Fund. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been loath to undertake reforms proposed by the IMF and since his election victory in July the former cricket star has shuttled between China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in an effort to secure bilateral funding from those allied nations.

Pakistan said in October that Saudi Arabia would deposit $3 billion directly and provide another one-year deferred payment facility of up to $3 billion for oil imports. The announcement came after Khan attended the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. He was one of the few prominent foreign dignitaries present after it emerged that Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi critic, was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Friday’s inflow will bolster Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, which fell to $7.3 billion in the week ended Dec. 7 -- the lowest in more than four and a half years.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.