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Risks to global financial system rise

11 October 2018

It's the thirteenth time Pakistan has turned to the International Monetary Fund for support since the late 1980s and the lender said last week that recent government efforts haven't been sufficient to stem a looming crisis.

The US-based organisation's warning comes 10 years after the Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed in September 2008, resulting in the global financial crisis as Wall Street went into meltdown.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said last week the macro-economic and fiscal stabilisation become "critical and urgent" and should invariably target the fiscal deficit.

In China, growth is projected to moderate from 6.9 per cent in 2017 to 6.6 per cent in 2018 and 6.2 per cent in 2019, reflecting a slowing external demand growth and necessary financial regulatory tightening, the report said. China's economy is also showing signs of moderating and that could be exacerbated by its trade disputes with the United States, which has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports from Beijing and is threatening duties on $267 billion more.

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The Economic Counsellor and Director of Research Department at the IMF, Maurice Obstfeld disclosed the Fund's new projection for global economic growth.

The IMF says there is a "risk of contagion" as investors become increasingly nervous about the strength of emerging markets, with the risk of capital flows towards the USA accelerating.

"Trade deficits don't (necessarily) mean cheating by the other side..."

Almas Hyder said that government, Ministry of Finance and State Bank needed to ascertain the factors weakening the value of rupee and check the possibilities of undue speculations and panic buying.

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The Group of 24 (G-24), a chapter of the G-77, was established in 1971 to coordinate the positions of developing countries on worldwide monetary and development finance issues and to ensure that their interests were adequately represented in negotiations on global monetary matters.

At its annual meeting in Bali it downgraded its prediction to 3.7% from 3.9% in July. "So, we will be listening very, very attentively when and if they come to us".

It is expected Pakistan will need a bigger sum this year to avoid a balance of payments crisis and stabilise a wobbly economy hurt by a shortage of dollars plus ballooning current account and fiscal deficits. A large current account imbalance. It has also loaned billions to Pakistan to help ease the pressure on the foreign currency reserves, which are used to defend the currency.

Analysts say Pakistan needs a loan of around $12 billion to turn the corner, but a diplomat told AFP in August that Islamabad is betting on a loan of at least $6.5 billion to get it through the crisis.

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Maurice Obstfeld said the International Monetary Fund does not see a generalised pullback from emerging markets, nor contagion that will spill over to those emerging economies which have stronger economies and have thus far avoided major outflows, such as those in Asia and some oil exporting countries.

Risks to global financial system rise