The Pakistani rupee maintained its positive run against the US dollar in the open market on Friday as gap with the inter-bank rate narrowed further, a key benchmark of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).
Dealers Business Recorder reached out to said the rupee was being quoted at 305 for selling and 302 for buying purposes for customers in the open market, down from Thursday’s levels.
At the end of trading, the rupee was being quoted at 304 and 301 for selling and buying purposes, respectively, according to the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP).
In the inter-bank market, the rupee improved significantly against the US dollar, and settled at 302.95.
The local currency has regained momentum after authorities reportedly cracked down on smuggling of dollars.
Pakistan Army’s top brass also expressed its resolve to assist the caretaker government in curbing all illegal activities which hamper economic stability, growth, and investors’ confidence, stated Inter Services Public Relations Pakistan (ISPR) on Thursday.
Meanwhile, currency dealers said exchange companies (ECs) have surrendered $20 million to the inter-bank market during the last two days as there is no demand in the market.
“All credit goes to Army Chief Asim Munir, who on the request of the exchange companies, has ordered strict action and set up a task force to control the black marketing and illegal trade of currencies,” Forex Association of Pakistan Chairman Malik Bostan said.
Being under an IMF programme, the exchange rate gap between the inter-bank and open markets – called the premium by the IMF in its country report on Pakistan published after the SBA’s approval by the Executive Board – needs to be around 1.25%.
It is pertinent to mention that concerns over Pakistan’s rising imports as restrictions ease, a widening current account deficit, and falling foreign exchange reserves have recently renewed pressure on the rupee.