Pakistan cuts interest rates to 11% to fight Covid-19


Published: Tue 24 Mar 2020, 6:47 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Mar 2020, 8:53 PM

The Pakistan central bank on Tuesday cut interest rates by 150 basis points to 11 per cent in order to support the economy against the coronavirus.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the number of Covid-19 cases has increased considerably, prompting social distancing and curtailment of activity. This is expected to lead to a noticeable slowdown in domestic demand.
"The SBP is in the process of taking necessary regulatory measures in coordination with banks to address pressures on cash flows of borrowers affected by Coronavirus related disruptions through facilitating deferment and restructuring of their loans. The announcement of these measures is expected soon," it said in a statement on Tuesday.
Due to growing Covid-19 cases, the Pakistan Stock Exchange also slumped six per cent to 28,565 points, the lowest ever level since September 1, 2014. This was also the highest decline in percentage term since May 20, 2002.

By Waheed Abbas

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