SCB offers to raise bonds, fund power project

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ISLAMABAD: Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) has offered to raise Pakistan bonds in the international markets, The News learnt on Thursday.

Itís also offered to provide a credit line for the multi-million dollar Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project. The offers were made in a meeting between Mohsin Nathani, CEO, SCB Pakistan and Pakistanís finance minister Ishaq Dar.

The bank has also shown its willingness to fund any project the government wants for, an official who attended the meeting told The News. SCBís says its made the offer as both Standard and Poor (S&P) and Moodyís are positive on Pakistanís economy which would open new opportunities for Pakistan.

ďIn the meeting, the finance minister said that the government is interested in raising the Sukuk bonds in Islamic mode. The bank also expressed interest in it,Ē the official said.

The Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project was also discussed during the meeting between Ishaq Dar and the bankís delegation. Dar said currently EXIM Bank of China has approved $448 million, Saudi Fund $100 million and the UAE $150 million. The SCB delegation said that if there is any shortage of funds, the bank is ready to provide the amount.

During the meeting, Nathani informed the finance minister that Standard Chartered Bank was upbeat about the economy of Pakistan in the backdrop of the measures taken by the new government for the revival of the economy, as well as addressing structural imbalances.

Mohsin Nathaniís meeting with the finance minister comes on the heels of an earlier meeting with Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, UK in July.

During the meeting, Mohsin Nathani discussed various proposals for extending support to the government of Pakistan, including extending financial support for the Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project.

Ishaq Dar welcomed the interest shown by Standard Chartered Bank and said that the measures taken by the government including a program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are aimed to give comfort to investors.

He said that these measures would help in creating an environment conducive for doing business in Pakistan and stimulate growth of the countryís economy.

Courtesy: †The News

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