Ahead of IMF mission's visit, Pakistani rupee hits all-time low at 139.4 against US dollar

Published: March 19, 2019
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Cumulatively, the rupee has lost 31.8% of its value in the last 13 months

PHOTO: REUTERS

Cumulatively, the rupee has lost 31.8% of its value in the last 13 months PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Pakistani rupee hit an all-time low of Rs139.40 to the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Monday ahead of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission’s scheduled visit to Pakistan next month.

The mission was arriving apparently in the wake of Pakistan’s acceptance of the tough conditions set by the IMF for a bailout including “keeping the rupee free from state control,” said Pakistan Forex Association President Malik Bostan in comments to The Express Tribune.

“We expect the rupee to touch 150 by December 2019,” Elixir Securities’ Director Research Hamad Aslam said. “The anticipated depreciation may be in one go any time or gradually by December.”

The rupee has been continuously shedding its value for about a week now. However, it lost a meagre Rs0.21 to Rs139.40 to the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Monday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

“The visit of IMF mission is not a small thing. It gives the impression that Pakistan is about to reach an understanding for the widely debated bailout,” Aslam said.

Bostan said Pakistan had largely covered the financing gap for the current fiscal year. “However, it will require another $7-8 billion in the next fiscal year for which it seems to be going to the IMF.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2019.

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