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Finance Minister meets Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank delegations

Islamabad, May 08, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar held two separate meetings with the delegations of Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank today Dubai and discussed prospects of investment by the banking sector in Pakistan.

The Finance Minister said that all economic indicators were positive and financial market was upbeat about Pakistan. He stated that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves position had significantly improved on account of increased inflows from multilateral and bilateral sources.

Foreign exchange reserves are going to further increase due to inflows from the WB and 3G payments, CSF, he added. He mentioned that his government promised to the people of Pakistan that foreign exchange reserves would be enhanced to 15 billion dollar by September 2014 but hopefully it would be achieved within coming months; much earlier than the given timeframe.

Finance Minister mentioned that the possibility of Sukuk transaction was being considered. He said that there were bright prospects of raising funding through Islamic financing instruments and expressed his optimism about Middle East banking sector’s participation.

Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar acknowledged the valuable support received by Pakistan and thanked the international banking sector for their contributions. He said Pakistan government was trying to diversify financing transaction to reap the maximum benefit for the country.

CEO of Citibank Atiq Ur Rehman and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Christos Papadopoulos observed that there was a visible shift in financial institutions attitude, and sentiment, particularly Middle Eastern Banks which were taking keen interest in Pakistan after successful launching of Eurobond. They said that Pakistan would fetch favourable pricing on financing transactions. He further said that his bank would also like to participate in Islamic structured financing as well.

Citibank delegation mentioned that their bank would put another Islamic structure with a size up to USD 500 million. There can be multiple transactions which can take place over a period, they added. Standard Chartered Bank apprised the Minister that his bank would also like to participate in the financing of the Neelum Jhelum project and other infrastructure projects.

Secretary Finance Waqar Masood Khan, Governor State Bank Ashraf Wathra, Special Assistant to the Finance Minister and Additional Secretary Shahid Mahmood, Vice President and Director of the Citibank, Managing Directors and Regional Head of the Standard Chartered Bank, and other senior official of the Ministry of Finance and Consulate General of Pakistan Dubai also participated in the meeting.

For more information, contact:
Director General (Media)
Naveed Iqbal
Ministry of Finance
Government of Pakistan
Room # 514, Block-’Q’, Finance Division,
Pak. Sectt. Islamabad
Phone: 92 51 9206382, 9211707
E-mail: naveed.iqbal377@gmail.com

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