KARACHI: The rupee made massive gains on Monday, skyrocketing by 1.11% against the US dollar in the interbank market, hours before the arrival of PML-N leader Ishaq Dar in the country who is slated to become Pakistan's new finance minister.
In the interbank market, the rupee gained 2.63 against the dollar to reach 237.02, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), up in value from the previous session's close of 239.65.
The local currency on Friday — the last trading day of the outgoing week — finally broke its losing streak against the dollar after continuously depreciating for 15 consecutive sessions.
The rupee came close to reaching a record low of 240 against the dollar but was unable to do so after several positive cues despite deadly floods devastating Pakistan's economy.
Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) General Secretary Zafar Paracha said it seems like the market is responding to PML-N leader Ishaq Dar's arrival and the announcement of him replacing Miftah Ismail as the finance minister.
Dar will return to Pakistan along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in today — after five years of self-imposed exile in London — to “facilitate” the government in its efforts to resurrect a cash-strapped economy by taking over the key portfolio of the finance ministry.
Apart from Dar's announcement, Paracha noted that the market players were noting political stability as well — after PTI Chairman Imran Khan stated he could return to parliament if the alleged cipher — purportedly containing threatening text behind his government's ouster — is probed.
The ECAP general secretary also said that the announcement from the World Bank about repurposing funds, the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) plans to help Pakistan, and the Asian Development Bank's help have boosted hops of the market.
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Local unit is likely to bounce back later this week on expected inflows from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank