Four commercial banks – two of them owned by the government – have submitted bids to give a maximum of Rs30 billion in loans under the Kamyab Pakistan Programme over the next three months. Till the expiry of deadline for the submission of bids, National Bank of Pakistan, the Bank of Punjab, Askari Bank and Habib Bank Limited submitted their quotations to the Ministry of Finance. The participation of these banks had been anticipated due to the involvement of their management in designing the programme.
The bids will be opened today (Thursday). The Ministry of Finance had sought bids from commercial banks, Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC) and development finance institutions (DFIs) regulated by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to act as wholesale lenders. However, no Islamic bank or DFI submitted bids for extending loans for a threemonth period. The banks offering the lowest interest rate above or below three-month Karachi Interbank Offered Rate (Kibor) will be declared as successful bidders. The government has also set the maximum cap on interest rate to be paid to these banks at three-month Kibor plus 9% per annum.
The financial sector faces an uncertain situation after the central bank increased the interest rate to 7.25% last month and also hinted at a further increase in November 2021. The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday wanted to borrow Rs100 billion through the fixed-rate Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs), however, the banks offered quite high rates, resulting in rejection of all bids for three, five and 10-year papers. Under the Kamyab Pakistan Programme, the Ministry of Finance arranged the first bidding for only a threemonth period.