ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to repay a loan of $500 million to the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), upon its maturity on January 23, 2017.

The loan in the form of a deposit was taken in January 2009, due to the weak current account situation at the time and was placed with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Since then the deposit was rolled over annually, with the latest maturity date set at January 23, 2017.

Instead of yet another roll over, it has been decided that the loan would be repaid, in view of the strong macro-economic performance and stable foreign exchange reserves position of the country. Dar has already obtained approval of the prime minister for the repayment of the said loan and has directed the SBP to make the $500 million payment.

Prime Minister Nawasz Sharif has formally expressed his deep appreciation to the prime minister and Government of China for the critical support provided through SAFE deposit for stabilising the current account since 2009.

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