- Multiple factors, including delay in IMF programme revival, driving currency depreciation
Uncertainty pertaining to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme revival pushed the rupee further into oblivion against the US dollar, as the local currency closed over 205 for the first time in the inter-bank market on Tuesday.
The rupee settled at Rs205.16, a depreciation of Rs1.3 or 0.63% against the greenback, as the currency market factored in further uncertainty after the IMF said that additional measures will be needed to bring Pakistan's budget for FY2022-23 in line with the key objectives of its programme.
On Monday, the local currency had depreciated Rs1.51 or 0.74% to close at Rs203.86.
Market experts are of the view that multiple factors, including the IMF programme, are driving rupee's depreciation against the greenback.
“There is uncertainty pertaining to the IMF programme revival,” Saad Hashmey, Executive Director at BMA Capital, told Business Recorder. "Oil prices remain high and are trading above $120 per barrel. Furthermore, there is a global economic slowdown which is being reflected locally as well,” he said.
Hashmey said the global economic upheaval would hit Pakistan's exports and remittance inflows, which witnessed a decline last month.
“The commodity market would have to follow the expected drop in demand, but at present, the prices remain high,” he said.
Meanwhile, Asad Rizvi, ex country head at Chase Manhattan, said that the economic uncertainty is denting market sentiment.
“In difficult times when the economic outlook is uncertain, market confidence is flattened,” he said.
Rizvi said that IMF is asking to do more, thus the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should step in to communicate with the market, “as a volatile condition is not likely to ebb and hence, rupee will continue to wobble”.
Addressing a conference, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday also said that the world perceived the country at a serious default risk and Pakistan bond is being sold at below 80 cents.
He said other lenders have linked their loans to the IMF programme and during a meeting the World Bank has told him this, and the same was also conveyed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as well.
Pakistan is halfway through a $6-billion, 39-month IMF programme that has stalled over the lender's concerns over the status of some of its objectives, including fiscal consolidation.
The next tranche that Pakistan is to receive upon a successful review is $900 million, and a green light from the IMF would also open up other global funding avenues.
Pakistan urgently needs funds in the face of dwindling foreign exchange reserves, which have reached $9.2 billion - enough for less than 45 days of imports.
Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Tuesday
BID Rs 205.30
OFFER Rs 205.50
In the open market, the PKR lost 2 rupees for buying and 1.50 rupees for selling against USD, closing at 205 and 206.50, respectively.
Against Euro, the PKR remained unchanged for both buying and selling, closing at 213 and 215, respectively.
Against UAE Dirham, the PKR lost 40 paisas for both buying and selling, closing at 56.10 and 56.60, respectively.
Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR lost 50 paisas for buying and 40 paisas for selling, closing at 54.60 and 55, respectively.
Open-market rates for dollar on Tuesday
BID Rs 205
OFFER Rs 206.50