Citibank, Standard Chartered to finance power generation projects

ISLAMABAD: The Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank have expressed their willingness to finance power generation and other infrastructure projects of the country.

The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the two banks expressed this willingness during separate meetings along with their delegations with the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in Dubai.

CEO Citibank Atiq Ur Rehman and CEO Standard Chartered Bank Christos Papadopoulos observed that there was a visible shift in financial institutions attitude and sentiment particularly Middle Eastern Banks which were taking keen interest in Pakistan after successful launching of Eurobond.

They said that Pakistan would fetch favourable pricing on financing transactions and showed interest to participate in Islamic structured financing as well. Citibank delegation mentioned that the Bank would put another Islamic structure with a size up to USD 500 million. There can be multiple transactions which can take place over a period they added.

Standard Chartered Bank delegation apprised the Minister that the Bank would also like to participate in the financing of the Neelum Jhelum project and other infrastructure projects.

Earlier Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Thursday informed the bank heads that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves position had improved significantly on account of increased inflows from multilateral and bilateral sources. Foreign exchange reserves are going to further increase due to inflows from the World Bank (WB,) 3G payments and Coalition Support Fund he said during two separate meetings with the delegations of Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai.

He mentioned that the government promised to the people of Pakistan that foreign exchange reserves would be enhanced to 15 billion dollar by September 2014 but hopefully it would be achieved within coming months much earlier than the given timeframe.

According to a statement by Finance Ministry the Federal Minister discussed with the delegations the prospects of investment by the banking sector in Pakistan. He mentioned that the possibility of Sukuk transaction was being considered adding there were bright prospects of raising funding through Islamic financing instruments and expressed his optimism about Middle East banking sector’s participation.

Dar acknowledged the valuable support received by Pakistan and thanked the international banking sector for their contributions. He said Pakistan government was trying to diversify financing transaction to reap the maximum benefit for the country.

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