Remittances up by 7pc

LAHORE: Overseas Pakistanis remitted $2637.27 million in first two months (July & August) of the current fiscal year.

It shows a growth of 7.05 percent as compared to $2463.69 million received during the same period of last fiscal year, said a statement by State Bank of Pakistan.

The inflow of remittances in July-August from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman and EU countries amounted to $732.50 million, $506.78 million, $448.60 million, $419.74 million, $295.59 million and $74.97 million respectively as compared to the inflow of $657.78 million, $505.80 million, $446.61 million, $334.06 million, $274.09 million and $63.57 million respectively in July-August FY12-13.

Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the first two months of current fiscal year amounted to $159.09 million against $ 181.78 million received in the first two months of last fiscal year.

In August 2013, the inflow of remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), and EU countries amounted to $321.77 million, $254.37 million, $215.54 million, $197.81 million, $134.15 million and $36.38 million respectively as compared to the inflow of $308.12 million, $265.26 million, $231.31 million, $185.57 million, $133.73 million and $32.74 million respectively in August 2012. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the second month of the current fiscal year (August FY14) amounted to $72.86 million, the SBP statement said.

SBP Governor to announce monetary policy today

KARACHI:  Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Yaseen Anwar will unveil monetary policy statement (MPS) at a press conference today.
The press conference is scheduled to start at 5pm at SBP Learning Resource Centre Auditorium, I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi.

Forex reserves slip below $10b

LAHORE: Foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan have dropped below $10 billion to $ 9,998.3 million.

Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan fell to $4,822.9 million while net foreign reserves held by banks stood at $5,175.4 million.

The IMF has approved $6.64 billion bailout package for Pakistan for three years that would strengthen the reserves. The Fund would provide $544 million loan’s first tranche to Pakistan in next few days while remaining amount would be disbursed in equal quarter transactions after the review of economic performance.

Expected hike in discount rate to attract high yields in T-Bills

LAHORE: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is likely to hike discount rate in the coming policy announcement due on next week for next two months as it has been showed by rising inflation trend in the country which may benefit high realised amount of T-Bills in the subsequent auction.

Market participants are expecting higher cut-off yields in T-bill auction as yield of 3-month T-Bill in secondary market levelled as high as 9% after the announcement of consumer price index (CPI) for Jul-13 of 8.26% year over year (YoY) compared to 5.85% YoY in June 2013.

The inflation has seen a rising trend on a yearly basis as most of the commodity prices shot up on the back of upward revision in GST coupled with other government taxes. Other factors that contributed to the inflation hike include increasing petroleum prices due to rising trend in international oil prices over Syrian crises, 5% depreciation of Rupee against Dollar in two months, and increased power tariff by the government to minimise circular debt issue in the country.

The central bank, being unwilling to increase cut-off yield significantly, received the realised amount remained far below the targeted amount. During last four T-bill auctions, the total realised amount was Rs699 billion against target of Rs1,100 billion with no significant change in cut-off yields.

The participation in short term T-Bill (3-month) to be higher as compared to other maturities (6 and 12 months). However, certain increase in cut-off yields can’t be rolled out as minimal increase in three months T-Bill cut-off yields is being expected with major participation in the same.

However, participation in other tenors ( 6 and 12 months) is expected to remain at a lower side though the central bank needs to attract banks and investors to meet its borrowing target of Rs1,600 billion for government’s borrowing needs to support fiscal deficit.

The SBP will likely to rely on T-Bill auctions or fulfil the same from its own resources through Open Market Operations. The T-Bills auction will likely to be made through floating government papers in the stock exchange as per proposal of Ministry of Finance for generating funds for its purposes.

Analysts said that hike in interest rate would definitely improve the yields of T-Bills for long-term and short-term tenors but it will also benefit the government to realise handsome amount whereas the banks may improve their profitability with T-Bills and rise in discount rates.

Rupee at record low against dollar

The dollar traded higher on the interbank market than the open market in three trading sessions last week, but the rupee fell below Rs104-mark against the dollar in the interbank market.

The rupee started the week with a three-paisa decline against the dollar on the buying counter and another four-paisa loss on the selling counter, pushing the US dollar up to Rs103.68 and Rs103.72 in the first trading session as it was Rs103.65 and Rs103.68 at the previous week’s close.

The rupee further drifted lower by 15-paisa on the buying counter and 13-paisa on the selling counter against the dollar, which closed the second trading session at Rs103.83 and Rs103.85. The open market’s rates for the dollar in the second session were Rs103.80 and 104.00.

The rupee continued its down-slide against the greenback in the third trading session, as it shed 17-paisa against the dollar, which climbed to a record Rs104.00 and Rs104.02. The open market’s corresponding rates for the dollar on the day were Rs103.90 and 104.10.

The dollar continued to gain in the fourth trading session in the interbank market, as it broke the previous day’s record to hit Rs104.50 and Rs104.52 against the rupee, up 50-paisa on the day. In this session, both buying and selling rates for the dollar were lower in the open market, at Rs104.30 and 104.50

The rupee shed another four-paisa on the buying counter and five-paisa on the selling counter against the dollar in the fifth trading session, which closed the week at Rs104.54 and Rs104.57 in the interbank market. The rupee depreciated by a cumulative 89-paisa against the dollar in the interbank market last week, compared with a loss of 60-paisa in the open market.

Rupee slides slightly against dollar


LAHORE: The traders and finance experts were expecting that with the setting up of new government, local currency rupee slide down trend would not only stop but after taking bold steps by incumbent government for the revival of country’s economy, rupee would be strengthened but all hopes have, so far, been faded since rupee is melting down further with the passage of time.

The local currency which was earlier, firmed and was being sold under 100 against a dollar has now been selling at Rs 104 against greenback in the open market because of slow GDP growth and menace of insurgency across the country.

On Tuesday, rupee shed 18 paisa in relation to the dollar for buying at Rs 103.40 and it also lost 23 paisa for selling at Rs 103.43, said a Lahore-based dealer seeking anonymity.

It is a good omen that gap between selling and buying of greenback in the local market has been reduced significantly because of incumbent government measures. However, it is the need of the hour that government should take measures to keep foreign reserves rise so that traders and investors do not feel panic and avoid sending greenback abroad through illegal means.

The rupee lost 20 paisa for buying and selling at Rs 103.50 and Rs 103.70 while rupee lost 100 paisa versus the euro for buying at Rs 137.50 and Rs 137.75, he claimed.

He further said that the dollar’s demand remained intact for another day in Lahore that kept the local currency under pressure. The dollar was ended higher at Rs 103.30 and Rs 103.60 as its buying and selling rates against Rs 103.00 and Rs 103.50 of Monday, respectively.

Similarly, the rupee also maintained downward slide and was depreciated against the British pound. The pound’s buying and selling rates were further improved from the day earlier closing of Rs 158.50 and Rs 159.30 to Rs 160.50 and Rs 161.50, respectively, he added.

The dealers are hopeful that as soon as International lending agencies including IMF would pour dollar in State Bank’s account, the situation would likely to get better and the local currency might be sold under 100 against dollar in the open market.

Overseas Pakistanis to send record level of remittances this year: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is likely to get a record level of remittances from the overseas Pakistan, about $16 billion during current fiscal year.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Saturday that during fiscal year 2013-14 a record amount of remittances is expected.

“We have been taking measures to improve the economy of the country,” he said in a statement linking the confidence of overseas Pakistanis with economic measures of the government.

During fiscal year 2012-13, overseas Pakistanis including from United States, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Middle Eastern states, Europe and other regions sent a record amount of $14 billion.