KARACHI: After ceasing its commercial banking operations in 2012, Citibank says it expects Pakistan’s economy to continue its growth trajectory in wake of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
These views were echoed by Citibank’s CEO James C. Cowles for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region during a summit held by the bank last month in London, reported Dawn.
Citibank still retains a presence in Pakistan via its corporate and banking institution and has played a part in big merger & acquisition transactions including the $1.7 billion of K-Electric to a Chinese firm.
Citibank CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) James C. Cowles has said he expects economic growth to continue in Pakistan on the back of the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Cowles said Citibank has a robust business in Pakistan taking international and local clients into context. He added infrastructural development will continue in Pakistan and this will create opportunities for other commercial ventures for its clients.
Pakistan has already clinched various foreign commercial loans from Citibank including $167 million for budgetary support during financial year 2017-18. The bank was also part of a syndicate that provided advise to the government on the recent issuance of Sukuk and Eurobond, which raised $2.5 billion from international debt markets at end of November.
Zain Zaidi, Citibank’s head of bonds and syndicated loans Middle East/North Africa believes there is a major yearning for Pakistani bonds.
Citibank recent economic outlook about Pakistan spoke about removal of Ishaq Dar from his post as Finance Minister which would increase uncertainty regarding continuity in fiscal policy. It added “This is compounded by the likelihood that the electoral battle ahead has just become more difficult, raising the risk of even greater fiscal slippage than we had already been anticipating.”
Citibank said rising oil prices, fall in remittances could affect Pakistan’s external and fiscal balances.