Pakistan mulls floating 'Panda Bond'

Pakistan mulls floating 'Panda Bond'

*LAHORE:* Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Dr. Miftah Ismail has stated Pakistan is contemplating to issue a debt denominated in Renminbi for the first time.

In a statement to the *Financial Times, *Mr. Ismail said the plan of issuing a Panda Bond was still in its initial stages and highlights the country’s increasing reliance on China for shoring its finances at a time when the forex reserves were declining.

The de-facto finance minister said the country had never issued a Panda Bond before but was interested in doing so and were currently exploring the rules and requirements.

Mr. Ismail told FT he was interested in floating the Panda Bond in the next financial year but wasn’t sure whether the timing would be workable for it or not.

He added the government hadn’t decided the amount it was considering raising. When asked about media reports claiming it could be around $1 billion, Mr. Ismail said: “$1bn is a very nice, round number that anybody can just float but I’ve really not even started thinking about it.”

Regarding the 10 percent depreciation of the rupee against the dollar since December, Mr. Ismail said the currency had fallen significantly in last four months and was enough to stem the rise in current account deficit for now.

The adviser to PM on Finance said, “This will hopefully increase in double digits my exports and my foreign remittances and also stem the tide of imports or slow down imports and I think that should be more than enough for now.”