Pakistan Markets Optimistic as Country “breaks IMF begging bowl”

via news.ft.com

Pakistan’s business leaders expect the Karachi stock market to rise today, driven by the decision of Shaukat Aziz, prime minister, to end ahead of schedule the country’s loan programme with the International Monetary Fund.

“The begging bowl has been broken forever,” said Mr Aziz on Friday evening as he announced that Pakistan had declined the last two tranches from the fund of $260m (€199.3m, £139.9m), due to be paid this month. The move ends a three-year loan programme with the IMF of $1.52bn, scheduled to end in December.

In measures aimed at lifting the Pakistani economy, Mr Aziz also removed a two-year freeze on recruitment in government services and ordered the creation of courts to resolve business disputes more quickly. .

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry – the largest national business body – said: “New opportunities for economic growth are likely to come up. There is a new emphasis on taking the economy forward…