CHINA has lent Pakistan $1 billion to boost the South Asian country's plummeting foreign exchange reserves, two sources in Pakistan's Finance Ministry has said, amid-

Growing speculation of another International Monetary Fund bailout.

The latest development highlights Islamabad's growing dependence on Chinese loans to buffer its  foreign currency reserves, which plunged to $9.66 billion last week from $16.4 billion in May 2017.

The lending is the outcome of negotiations for loans worth $1-2 billion that was first reported in late May, sources said.

''Yes, it is with us,'' said one finance ministry official, in reference to the Chinese money. The second source added that the  ''matter stands complete.''

The finance ministry spokesperson did not respond to request for comment.

While the latest loan, China's lending to Pakistan in this fiscal year ending in June is set to breach $5 billion. In the first 10 months of the  fiscal year, China lent Pakistan $1.5 billion in bilateral loans according to finance ministry  document.

During this period, Pakistan also received $2.9 billion in commercial bank loans mostly from Chinese banks, ministry official said.

Beijing's attempts to prop-up Pakistan's economy follow a strengthening of ties in the wake of China's pledge to fund badly/needed power and and road infrastructure as part of the $57 billion   China-Pakistan  Economic Corridor {CPEC}, an important cog in Beijing's vast Belt and Road initiative. [Agencies].


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