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Rupee snaps multisession losing streak

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  • Rupee mostly remains stable in Friday’s trade
  • Hopes of dollar inflows underpin buoyant close.
  • Dollar continues to outshine world currencies.

KARACHI: The rupee Friday closed the session a shade higher versus the US dollar, snapping the multi-day losing streak, mostly on bets of financial assistance from friendly countries and multilateral lenders, dealers said.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee closed at 221.92 after an appreciation of Re0.03 or 0.01% in the interbank market compared to its Thursday’s closing of 221.95 against the dollar. 

The local unit ended at 221.95 per dollar after losing Re0.52 or 0.23% on Wednesday.

Moreover, the dollar has been gaining against major currencies after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signalled US interest rates will likely peak at a higher level than markets expected. 

On the other hand, the pound sterling sank after the Bank of England raised rates but warned of a “very challenging outlook.”

Analysts said the SBP’s allowing the exchange companies to trade 20% of remittances in the open market will ease pressure on the rupee.

The SBP on Thursday allowed exchange companies to trade 20% of remittances in the open market to ease pressure on the rupee.

Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar earlier this week announced clearance of Letters of Credit (LCs) up to $50,000, which spiked the dollar demand from importers.

Last week, the exchange businesses requested Dar to allow at least half of the remittances to be used by the open market. They expected that the possibility of receiving half of the remittances would lessen the demand for the dollar and lower its rate in the currency market.

“On our request, the governor State Bank of Pakistan has enabled the exchange companies to sell 20% of workers’ remittances to the general public,” said Malik Bostan, chairman of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) said in a statement.

Bostan, along with other members of ECAP held a meeting with governor SBP Jameel Ahmad and thanked him for helping exchange companies whenever they face any problem. 

“Due to the low rate of exchange companies, customers are selling in the black market instead of selling to exchange companies as their rate is 10 to 15 rupees more per dollar than exchange companies,” he said.

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Tourism boom: During Eidul Azha, more than 400,000 people travel to KP

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Over 400,000 people travelled to several beautiful locations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa between June 17 and June 19, celebrating the recently ended Eidul Azha festivities.

With over 174,000 visitors in one day, Naran Kaghan emerged as the most popular location. Visitors looking for a getaway from the city are still drawn to Naran Kaghan’s calm scenery and charming valleys.

A total of 162,000 visitors to Galiyat took in the city’s rich history at its cultural institutions and historical landmarks. In addition, more than 46,000 people visited Malam Jabba in Swat, and 23,000 people visited Upper Dir to take in its stunning surroundings.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is becoming a popular domestic vacation destination due to its unique combination of natural beauty, cultural legacy, and adventure options, as seen by the rise in visitor numbers.

Businesses and local government agencies have been collaborating to make sure tourists have an unforgettable time while appropriately handling the inflow.

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Pakistan currently has $14.41 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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In a statement, the central bank stated that as of June 14, 2024, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stood at $9.135 billion, following the increase.

The announcement also stated, “SBP reserves increased by US$ 31 million to US$ 9,134.7 million during the week ended on June 14, 2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stated that the nation had $14.415 billion in total liquid foreign reserves. Commercial banks own $5.28 billion of the total in net foreign reserves.

It was announced earlier on June 13 that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves reached US$14.38 billion, up US$168 million in the first week of June.

Pakistan’s reserves held by commercial banks rose by US$174 million to $5.28 billion for the week that ended on June 7, according to a statement released by the central bank.

The SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves, down US$6.2 million from before. The central bank did not provide an explanation for why its reserves fell.

“SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on July 7, 2024,” the SBP said in a statement.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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