KARACHI: The rupee ended stronger at 90.90/95 to the dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 91.02/06. Currency has been supported by remittances, which rose 21.45% to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year. In March, remittances totaled $1.14 billion. State Bank of Pakistan’s monetary policy statement said that the external sector was likely to remain under pressure because of both external debt payments and lack of foreign aid. Pakistan’s GDP growth is estimated at 3.2 % for 2011/12 fiscal year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Pakistan’s current account deficit widened to a provisional $3.089 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $10 million over the same period in the previous year, the central bank said on Wednesday. Overnight rates in the money market ended at 10.75%, down from Monday’s close of 11.90% because of increased liquidity in the market.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.