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Tuesday November 29, 2022

Rupee devalues against dollar for fifth straight day

Rupee lost 0.12% or Re0.26 to close at 222.67 compared to Wednesday’s close of 22.41

November 17, 2022
A currency dealer can be seen counting $100 notes while a stack of Rs5,000 notes is placed on the table. — AFP/File
A currency dealer can be seen counting $100 notes while a stack of Rs5,000 notes is placed on the table. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Pakistan rupee's losing streak against the US currency in the interbank trade entered its fifth day as import payments-led dollar demand weighed on the local unit amid tight supply.

Data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), showed that the country’s legal tender lost 0.12% or Re0.26 to close at 222.67 compared to Wednesday’s close of 22.41.

Rupee also remained on the ropes in the open market which, analysts hung on tight dollar supply and a slowdown in the sale of dollars, which was causing a dearth of the greenback in the market.

According to an exchange company owner, sluggish inflows of overseas workers' remittances also weighed.

“Moreover, the political unrest and a stalling of talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan for the completion of the ninth review of the loan facility also dented the morale,” he added.

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance Wednesday was assured by the SBP that action would be taken against the banks, allegedly involved in fleecing importers in the opening of LCs.

“The SBP held meetings with the banks and warned them against their practice, advising them to rationalise the spreads being charged to the customers,” the SBP officials told the committee.

In another development, Pakistan's total debt and liabilities have climbed by Rs12 trillion or 23.7% to Rs62.46 trillion in the first quarter of this fiscal year. Analysts attributed this surge to a delay in the IMF loan tranche and the devaluation of the rupee.

Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased $3 million to $7.96 billion as of November 11, 2022.

According to data released by the central bank on Thursday, total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13.8 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks clocked in at $5.84 billion.