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Rupee continues to slide in interbank market

Rupee continues to slide in interbank market

Rupee continues to slide in interbank market

Rupee continues to slide in interbank market

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  • The exchange rate shed 18 paisas to close at Rs225.82 against the dollar.
  • The government’s stalled talks on ninth review have resulted in increased pressure.
  • S&P Global cut Pakistan’s long-term sovereign credit rating by one notch to “CCC+”.
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KARACHI: The Pakistani rupee remained under pressure against the dollar on Monday owing to renewed concerns regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme besides the country’s downgrading by a global ratings agency, dealers said.

The exchange rate shed 18 paisas to close at Rs225.82 from Friday’s closing of Rs225.64 against the dollar in the interbank foreign exchange market.

Experts said that the government’s stalled talks on the ninth review have resulted in increased pressure on the local unit. Additionally, with the likely tough conditions on the table for the resumption of the programme, it seems likely that the government may take a while before the programme is back on track.

The IMF has shared a list of prerequisite actions with Pakistani authorities for moves towards implementing them in the next three weeks to revive the stalled loan programme.

Similarly, the economy was hit with another blow after global ratings agency S&P Global on December 22, cut Pakistan’s long-term sovereign credit rating by one notch to “CCC+” from “B”, to reflect a continued weakening of the country’s external, fiscal and economic metrics.

The government has failed to secure any major funding from friendly countries and multilateral lending institutions to give a boost to the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

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The foreign currency reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) dropped down $584 million to reach $6.1 billion during the week ended December 16, compared with $6.7 billion on December 9.

The forex reserves are down to levels worth just eight weeks of imports, their lowest since April 2014.

The overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP stood at $12 billion. The net reserves held by banks amounted to $5.88 billion.

Although the current account deficit declined over 85 per cent on a year-on-year basis to clock in at $0.28 billion in November as the imports of the country have reduced.

The experts are of the view that exports have declined even further due to delays in the opening of letter-of-credit (LCs) to import raw-material for the export-oriented industries.

According to the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the exports fell to $2.37 billion in November, compared with $2.9 billion in the same month of the last year.

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The workers remittances have also declined 15.7 per cent to reach $2.21 billion in October, compared with $2.62 billion in the same month of the last year.

On a monthly basis, the remittances witnessed a decline of 9 per cent, compared with $2.43 billion received during September.

The net foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan slumped 62 per cent to $95 million in October 2022, compared with $247.3 million in the same month last year. However, the net FDI was up 13 per cent, compared with $84 million recorded in September 2022.

During the first four months of fiscal year 2023, the net FDI dropped 52 per cent year-on-year to $348 million, compared with $726 million during the same period of last fiscal year.

The local currency remained under pressure since the start of the current fiscal year. The rupee lost Rs20.97 or 10.23 per cent from Rs204.85 to dollar on June 30, 2022 to the current level of Rs225.82.

At the open market, the buying and selling of the dollar was recorded at Rs233 and Rs235 at 4:45pm PST.

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