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Saudi Arabia finalising extension of $3bn deposit

Saudi Arabia is finalising the extension of the kingdom’s $3 billion deposit to Pakistan, Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan said on Tuesday.

“We are currently finalising extending the $3bn deposit to Pakistan,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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Last year, Saudi Arabia deposited $3bn in the State Bank of Pakistan to help support its foreign reserves.

Jadaan did not offer further details, but on May 1 the two countries said in a joint statement that they would discuss the possibility of supporting the deposit by extending its term “or through other options”.

Jadaan said Pakistan was an important ally and the kingdom would stand behind the country.

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The statement came a day after Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Muhammad bin Salman discussed military cooperation between the two countries over the phone.

“During the call, the Chief of the Pakistani Army was reassured about the health of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” the Saudi foreign ministry said.

Pakistan is in dire need of external finances, hurt by high inflation, reserves declining to as low as less than two months of imports and a fast-weakening currency.

Uncertainty over the revival of an International Monetary Fund programme has compounded volatility in the economy and markets amid a political crisis since a new government took over last month from ousted prime minister Imran Khan.

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