Pakistan may get $4.2bn bailout during Saudi crown prince visit this month: sources


ISLAMABAD: Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and prime minister, is slated to visit Pakistan this month (November) during which Islamabad hopes to get a $4.2 billion bailout package from Riyadh, diplomatic sources said Monday.

The Saudi leader’s rare visit is tentatively scheduled for November 21.

Prince Salman’s special security detail is likely to arrive in Islamabad by the end of this week to review the security arrangements for final approval.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia is also expected to make solid investments in Pakistan. Sources also informed that a number of Pakistan-Saudi petroleum agreements are being finalised for signing during the visit of his excellency.

The government is also counting on a likely agreement that will help round up financial support from Saudi Arabia for the establishment of a state-of-the-art refinery in Gwadar.

The refinery, to be built at a cost of $10 billion, will be co-financed by Saudi and China.

According to sources, initially, Chinese companies will run the operations of the refinery after the completion of the project.

The sources, however, added that so far things looked fine but a spike in political noise could affect the Saudi crown prince’s itinerary.