ISLAMABAD - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to approve loan $506 million today (Friday) for Pakistan under the extended fund facility that would further build the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

The executive board of the IMF would meet on Friday to consider its mission report on Pakistan’s 7th economic review under the extended fund facility. The government is optimistic that the Fund would approve the seventh tranche worth of $506 million for Pakistan, as the IMF’s mission had shown satisfaction over the economic situation of the country during review held in Dubai and Islamabad from May 1-11, 2015.

Pakistan had already received $3.5 billion from the Fund in six tranches since September 4, 2013 when it approved SDR 4.393 billion (about $6.6 billion) Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement for Pakistan.

The inflow of 7th tranche would further build-up the reserves of the country, which has already crossed the $18 billion benchmark on Thursday after the government received $500 million from the World Bank. The World Bank Group last week approved the Development Policy Credit (DPC) worth $500 million to boost economic growth through fostering private and financial sector development, and mobilising revenue while expanding fiscal space to meet social needs.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had once claimed that Pakistan would have the highest ever foreign exchange reserves of the country of more than $18.29 billion by June 30, 2015. Pakistan is likely to have the highest level of foreign exchange reserves mainly held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) if reserves surge to $18.29 billion. Previously, the country’s forex reserves had touched $18.29 billion mark in July 2011 mainly with the help of IMF’s borrowed front loaded money of $8 billion by the PPP government so the real reserves at that time were $10 billion.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan was expecting to receive $1.4 billion from World Bank and Asian Development Bank till June 2015. However, it received only $500 million from the World Bank for achieving the growth while the availability of the remaining $900 million seems in the doldrums. Islamabad has failed to convince the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for providing $500 million and $400 million loans respectively for the energy sector before till June 30.

The country’s reserves would have much higher if it received $900 million from the WB and ADB by the end of current month of June. Pakistan’s Ambassador in the US Jalil Abbas Jilani had told reporters during previous week that the energy sector loan from the World Bank is expected to approve in coming September.

The PML-N government has estimated to increase the foreign exchange reserves to $19 billion by the end of the outgoing 2015 and to $20 billion by 2017-18.