Aurangzeb’s appointment as finance minister, a positive step: Bloomberg

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ISLAMABAD, The appointment of Muhammad Aurangzeb as Pakistan’s finance minister is a positive step to steer the country’s economy in right direction, Bloomberg said in a report.

“Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif picked a former banker from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as finance minister, marking a shift to using technocrats to steer the cash-strapped economy and negotiate for new loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”, the US-based Bloomberg reported.

It added PM Shehbaz Sharif had the experience of closing a deal with the multilateral lender as prime minister. He personally negotiated with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

Bloomberg Economics analyst Ankur Shukla said in a report that Shehbaz Sharif had the track record of carrying out reforms and his return as prime minister for a second term increased the chances of securing a new IMF package.

His party’s election manifesto — which includes cutting the fiscal deficit and fixing the current account balance — are aligned with the IMF targets or, in some cases, even more ambitious, Shukla wrote in the report.

It added Pakistan had rewarded investors who still ploughed in funds as the nation’s dollar bonds handed them a gain of almost 25% this year, the biggest in Asia.