Govt will not seek Paris Club debt restructuring: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday said Pakistan will not seek debt restructuring from Paris Club creditor nations, as he seeks to restore market confidence after a credit rating downgrade.

The new rating from Moody’s raised concerns that Pakistan could default on its foreign debt as the country contends with economic turmoil and a balance of payments crisis.

“We have decided not to go to Paris Club,” Dar said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad, adding that in consultation with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif it was decided that it wasn’t in the nation’s interest to ask for a restructuring.

“We will fulfil all sovereign [debt] commitment,” he said.

Dismissing market rumours that the government might extend maturities for its bonds, Dar said the country will fulfil all multilateral, international and bond obligations.

“God willing, we will pay the bonds on time,” said Dar.

“We are not extending the bond maturity.” Pakistan’s Eurobond matures in December this year.

Moody’s last week downgraded Pakistan’s credit rating from B3 into so-called junk territory at Caa1, citing external risks and concerns about its ability to secure required financing to meet its needs in the next few years.

Dar has previously said that the country will meet the requirement to raise nearly $35 billion in external financing for the 2022-23 financial year.

PM Shehbaz last month made an appeal to the Paris Club for a debt moratorium after the already struggling economy was hit by devastating floods that the government estimates will cause economic losses of up to $30bn.

Nearly 33 million people have been affected and 7.9m displaced after flooding caused by abnormal monsoon rains.

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