S&P Global lowers Pakistan’s long-term sovereign credit rating – Business

Global ratings agency S&P Global on Thursday cut Pakistan’s long-term sovereign credit rating by one notch to “CCC+” from “B” to reflect a continued weakening of the country’s external, fiscal and economic metrics.

Pakistan’s already low foreign exchange reserves will remain under pressure through 2023 unless oil prices slump or foreign assistance improves, the agency said.

The country’s central bank said on Thursday its reserves had fallen $584 million to $6.11 billion during the week ending December 16 due to external debt repayments, barely enough to cover a month of imports.

Pakistan also faces elevated political risks that may affect its policy trajectory over the next year, the agency said.

This year’s severe floods, surging food and energy inflation as well as rising global interest rates are also expected to depress Pakistan’s economic and fiscal outcomes, with refinancing challenges over the medium term, the report said.

The agency maintained its outlook at “stable”.

With the depleting reserves and a review by the International Monetary Fund pending since September, Pakistan is in dire need of external financing support.

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