The Pakistan Stock Exchange experienced a significant increase on Monday, with analysts attributing the rally to changes made by the government in the budget for 2023-24 to address concerns from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The benchmark KSE-100 closed at 41,347 points, up 3.42%. Experts believe that the pending ninth IMF review, which was previously dismissed by the markets, now has renewed optimism due to the government’s revisions to the budget and the removal of import restrictions. The rally was led by sectors such as cement and automobiles. The head of research at Aba Ali Habib Securities stated that the government is close to striking an IMF deal and has fulfilled the IMF’s requirements. It is expected that the IMF loan will be approved, which could lead to a substantial market rally. The government revised the budget in order to meet the IMF’s conditions for securing bailout funds. Concerns were raised by the IMF regarding some measures proposed in Pakistan’s budget for fiscal year 2024, but the government responded by stating that it remained engaged with the IMF to reach a solution. Pakistan urgently needs an IMF bailout as its reserves have been at critical levels for several months. A $6.5 billion deal was signed with the IMF in 2019, but the release of a $1.2 billion tranche has been delayed due to Pakistan’s failure to meet prerequisites. The government has addressed the lender’s concerns just before the programme’s expiry on June 30. The status of the tenth review is uncertain, but the government has accounted for the entire amount of $2.5 billion in its budget documents for the upcoming fiscal year.
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