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Dollar depreciates further against rupee, loses Rs2.19 in interbank

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  • Dollar loses further in interbank market.
  • Market boosted after Ishaq Dar’s statement about dollar’s value.
  • SBP says action would be taken against banks involved in creating volatility. 

The Pakistani rupee continued to gain ground against the dollar Thursday — the 10th consecutive session — and appreciated by 2.19 in the interbank market at the start of the intraday trade.

The greenback was being traded at Rs221.75 after losing 2.19 as the market opened today. It closed at 223.94 per dollar a day prior.

The market observers are of the view that the dollar declined on hopes of inflows, upbeat trade data, and bets that the new finance minister would be able to tame the US currency effectively.

“In my view, recent encouraging trade balance data, hopes from multilateral institutions of additional inflows supported the rupee,” said Samiullah Tariq, the head of research at Pak-Kuwait Investment Company.

“The 215-220 per dollar seems a good level,” he added.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s statement “the actual value of the rupee was less than 200 and it would be brought down, as it was currently undervalued” further bolstered the currency as the dollar sales by the exporters continued to underpin sentiment and improve supplies in the market, according to a The News report.

Meanwhile, the governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance that action would be taken against banks and forex exchange companies involved in creating volatility in the exchange rate upon the finalisation of the inquiry.

The committee wanted to know the names of the eight banks that were allegedly involved in speculation for making money and there was a considerable difference in dollar rate in the interbank and exchange companies rate.

The committee directed the SBP to take appropriate action against all the banks and exchange companies allegedly firing up exchange rate volatility.

The committee also asked the SBP to take exemplary action against banks and exchange companies involved in speculations to make a profit so that no one could dare to play with the economy of the country in the future.

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Over 600 points are added by PSX in intraday trading.

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Tuesday’s lunchtime trading on the Pakistan Stock Exchange saw favorable activity.

During intraday trading, the benchmark KSE-100 Index increased by 672.08 points, or 1.11%, and was trading at 61131.82 levels.

The KSE-30 Index was trading at 20,558.31 after adding 211.46 points, or 1.04%.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) had another round of discussions for the establishment of a central government the day before the rally in the local stock exchange.

In the meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has issued a warning, stating that the likelihood of default would rise in the event of a drawn-out discussion or the inability to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, which reported net foreign reserves of $8 billion as of February 9, 2024, up from a low of $2.9 billion on February 3, 2023, Pakistan’s external situation has improved recently.

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The smartphone app “Tajir Dost” to tax Pakistani businesses is anticipated to launch on February 22.

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The sources stated that the caretaker administration aims to include 3.5 million shops in the tax net by use of the “Tajir Dost” app.

They said that Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the acting prime minister, has instructed the relevant authorities to conclude their engagement with the retailing bodies within a few days.

The introduction of the “Tajir Dost” smartphone app to impose taxes on several merchants was authorized earlier this month by the acting federal administration.

The smartphone application, created by Pakistan Revenue Authority Limited (PRAL), a division of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), is intended to serve as a registration tool for shops and dealers throughout the nation.

The app’s database will be updated with the traders’ information who have already registered with the FBR.

Previously, in December 2023, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) made history by collecting Rs1.021 trillion. After deducting refunds of Rs 38 billion that were given out that month, the FBR’s net collection increased to Rs 984 billion.

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SBP confirms the choice to use new currency notes was not influenced by the IMF.

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In response to recent rumours, Saleem Ullah, the deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), said on Thursday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had no influence over the decision to release new currency notes.

Saleem Ullah underlined in an interview that printing new notes is a regular procedure carried out every 15 to 20 years to maintain the currency’s integrity.

He stressed that, in contrast to rumours, the deficit is expected to decline in the next fiscal year, in line with the goals of the new monetary policy.

“Every 15 to 20 years, new notes are printed,” he clarified. The new currency’s goal is to keep the note’s integrity intact.”

The SBP assured the public earlier this week that the current banknote series will continue to be in circulation despite the introduction of new currency notes, which it intended to implement over the course of the next two years.

Regarding the latest series of currency notes, the deputy governor clarified that they were launched in 2005 and were in circulation for three years.

He admitted that the procedure was time-consuming and estimated that because of the careful preparation required, it would take around two years to issue the first note.

In addition, he guaranteed that the new banknotes will have improved security measures because they would be made using contemporary technology. He gave information regarding the SBP’s effort to get public feedback on the new currency notes’ design, highlighting the fact that recommendations were being actively sought from the populace.

“There are three prizes for each denomination, and there are a total of seven denominations, hence 21 prizes,” he disclosed, highlighting the process’ openness. First place is worth Rs 1 million, second place is worth Rs 500,000, and third place is worth Rs 300,000.

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