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Roshan Digital Accounts: inflow clocks in at meagre $110mn in January

  • This is the lowest monthly figure since November 2020, which was the third month of the initiative
Published February 3, 2023

Pakistan’s economic distress and high global interest rates continued to take a toll on inflows coming through the Roshan Digital Account (RDA), as the amount decreased by 21% month-on-month to $110 million in January, down from $140 million in December 2022. This is the lowest monthly inflow since November 2020. However, that was back when RDA was still picking up pace as it was just three months into inception.

Cumulative inflow under RDA has now hit $5.7 billion at the end of January, 29 months since the programme was launched, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday.

The SBP data does not convey cumulative outflow, which reports suggest has increased in recent months.

Meanwhile, SBP data shows that out of the overall $5.686 billion deposited in RDAs, $3.569 billion or almost 63% have been invested in Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs).

Roshan Digital Account: monthly inflow lowest since Dec 2020, clocks in at $141mn in Nov

Of this, $1,800 million have been invested in conventional NPCs, whereas $1,769 million have been invested in Islamic NPCs.

Just $48 million, or less than 1%, has made its way into the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

The inflows through RDA have been on a declining trend since June 2022. Experts attribute the development to the ongoing economic crisis in the country.

“The decline in inflows is due to the very tough macroeconomic conditions prevailing in Pakistan,” said Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited (AHL).

The expert shared that the outflow from RDA is expected to be higher than the inflow. “However, it is difficult to gauge the net figure, and only an estimated value could be derived,” he added.

Abbas was of the view that the declining trend in inflows would persist despite the recent revision of rates by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

“Until economic conditions improve, including the resumption of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, the trend would persist,” he said.

Last month, the SBP notified increase in the profit for Conventional Naya Pakistan Certificates (Certificates) with effect from Jan 23, 2023.

Overseas Pakistanis from 175 countries have so far opened 524,822 accounts under RDA. On a monthly basis, the number of accounts opened increased by 3%.

The RDA is an initiative of the SBP, in collaboration with commercial banks in Pakistan, to provide innovative banking solutions to NRPs, including Non-Resident Pakistan Origin Card (POC) holders, seeking to undertake banking, payment and investment activities in the country.

The initiative was launched in September 2020 by the SBP.

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