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Rupee to recover against dollar as Pakistan gets ready to seal IMF deal

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  • Govt serious about taking prior actions to sign SLA.
  • Rupee gains 2.18% against dollar this week.
  • Market remains hopeful that IMF agreement will proceed.

KARACHI: The rupee is expected to start its recovery drive against the US dollar as the government’s efforts to secure the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailout programme has boosted the market’s positive sentiments and due to an increase in dollar supply, The News reported Sunday citing traders and analysts. 

The government seems serious about taking some prior actions that could help meet the IMF conditions to seal the state-level agreement with the global lender. 

During the outgoing week, the local currency gained about 2.18% against the greenback in the interbank market, raising from 275.30 on Monday to 269.28 on Friday.

Although no agreement to unlock the funds from a $6.5 billion bailout was achieved between Islamabad and the IMF during the fund’s 10-day visit, both parties concurred to continue long negotiations because the South Asian nation’s worsening economic crisis does not appear to have a quick resolution.

Pakistan must come to an agreement with the IMF for further money to secure more aid, avoid default, and rebuild foreign currency reserves that have decreased to $2.9 billion.

The stock market embarked on a selling binge, but there was no reaction to both sides’ failure to reach a staff-level accord. It increases the IMF timeframe by at least another 10–12 days and, given the rate at which reserves are depleting, constitutes a serious concern.

Despite a setback, the market remains hopeful that the IMF agreement will proceed, particularly given the several harsh “prior actions” Pakistan has already done.

“As the IMF needs to see some progress on the terms, the staff-level agreement (SLA) is still not in place. In about a week, the SLA might be signed and then sent to the IMF board for final approval. Overall, progress that is good,” said a currency dealer.

A positive effect is happening in the currency market by the exporters, due to dual movement in the currency, who are realising export proceeds, and providing much-needed liquidity in the market, according to Tresmark’s client note.

“For the first time in many months, the market also witnessed material selling in the forward tenors by exporters. In the grey market the last quote was 280/282 and there is some panic there as well as speculators want to book their profits and exit the market,” it said.

There was still a substantial backlog of imports and payments, which would exceed any inflow of export proceeds. But in the medium term, and given that the IMF agreement would go ahead with follow-up from friendly countries and multilateral institutions, demand might go to take a huge hit, it added.

“With that, entities involved in the export business will see a boom where as those in the import business will witness a bust. In the short term the market may stay above the 270/$ level, but may fall back to 262/$ level in the medium term,” the client note stated.

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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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