(Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif picked a former banker from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as finance minister to help bolster the cash-strapped economy after a contentious election.

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Muhammad Aurangzeb, 59, was appointed to the position, according to a post by the finance ministry on X. He stepped down from his role as chief executive officer of Habib Bank Ltd., the company said in a statement earlier on Monday.

Aurangzeb was chosen over other possible candidates, including longtime Sharif ally Ishaq Dar and ex-central bank governor Shamshad Akhtar.

The new finance minister’s most pressing challenge would be to secure at least $6 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund to tide over the economy, which has been battered by surging inflation and slowing growth. Shehbaz Sharif has said Pakistan needs to secure a new loan as a priority.

The nation also needs to unlock the final $1.1 billion tranche from an IMF program that ends next month. Some $1 billion of Pakistan’s dollar denominated bonds mature in April as well.

A former CEO with JP Morgan’s Global Corporate Bank in Singapore, Aurangzeb is a seasoned banker who has headed Habib Bank — Pakistan’s largest bank by deposits — for the past six years. He said last year any new government will have to address structural benchmarks set by the IMF to move the economy to growth mode.

Still, Sharif has the experience of closing a deal with the multilateral lender as prime minister. He personally negotiated with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, sidelining the former finance minister Ishaq Dar who stalled on some reforms, according to a report from the United States Institute of Peace published after the elections.

Bloomberg Economics analyst Ankur Shukla said Sharif has the track record of carrying out reforms and his return as prime minister for a second term increases 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 a report.

IMF aid will help in retaining support from creditor nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which poured billions of dollars in financing. Securing a new deal may also boost Pakistan’s dollar bonds and stock market, which have handed investors one of the best gains globally since the nation began the current IMF program in July.

Despite the new appointment, some observers remain pessimistic.

“Even if you bring legendary people like Larry Summers or Rubin, they can’t do anything,” said Nadeem Ul Haque, a former economist with the IMF. “We have deep, deep problems in the economy and society that need to be fixed. Changing people or the IMF program is just window dressing.”

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