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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will likely secure a multibillion-dollar financial support package from long-time ally Saudi Arabia this month, two sources said, as the country awaits the ninth review of a $7 billion IMF bailout package.

The two finance ministry officials said the Saudi package would include deposits boosting the country’s foreign reserves and oil on deferred payments.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said earlier he hoped talks with Saudi Arabia would materialise soon.

“We are expecting that we will, God willing, get financial support from Saudi Arabia, most likely this month,” one of the senior officials told Reuters, adding it would be around a $4 billion package.

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“Some of that package will go to our reserves and the rest is oil and some other commodities on deferred payments,” he said.

“Pakistan has brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia. Both countries have helped each other in times of need,” a finance ministry media coordinator told Reuters, without elaborating or giving any further details.

Pakistan’s economy is facing a balance of payment crisis, with central bank reserves having fallen to $6.7 billion - hardly enough for a month of imports - and the current account deficit having widened.

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