Rupee likely to remain stable on hopes of new IMF deal

Rupee likely to remain stable on hopes of new IMF deal

An employee counts Pakistani rupee notes at a bank in Peshawar, on August 22, 2023. — Reuters
  • Rupee to trade between 290 to 310 against dollar: survey.
  • Poll says local currency unlikely to witness any major fall.
  • Pakistan looks for “long-term” IMF bailout programme.

KARACHI: The rupee is likely to remain stable in coming months owing to the prospects of a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for another bailout programme expected in June, The News reported on Sunday.

The local currency, presently trading at 278 against the dollar, is likely to maintain itself between 290 and 301 against the greenback.

A poll conducted by Topline Research — which includes the input of various market players on macroeconomic and market variables — reflects a more bullish view of the stock market compared to the polls conducted few months ago.

Stressing that no major fall is expected in the rupee, the brokerage firm said that 49% of the respondents in the poll expect the local currency to remain between the 290 to 310 range against the dollar by the end of the current year as opposed to the 38% who believed this to be true three months ago when asked to comment on the rupee-dollar parity by June 2024.

Meanwhile, as opposed to the 2% of respondents who, in December 2023, expected the local currency to be in the same range by June this year, 23% now believe that the rupee might likely trade between 250 to 270 against the greenback.

Although no formal discussions have yet taken place on the new IMF deal, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has said that Islamabad is expected to reach a staff-level agreement with the Washington-based lender for a new bailout package by the end of the fiscal year, stressing that the details of the new agreement would come under discussion in the spring meetings.

Disclosing that he himself would lead a Pakistani delegation to the US capital around mid-April, the finance minister said that so far the IMF has been “very receptive” to a “larger and longer programme.”

“A new tranche of loan is likely to be received from the IMF in a few days, however, we would need another programme,” he said while addressing a session of the Special Investment Facilitation Council’s (SIFC) apex committee attended by civil-military leadership.

His remarks come as last week Islamabad and the Washington-based lender struck a staff-level agreement on the second and final review under the $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement, paving the way for the release of the last tranche

However, the publication, citing reports, says that the Fund’s executive board hasn’t yet fixed any date for considering the completion of the second review and release of the third tranche of $1.1 billion and is in fact expected to approve the disbursement by the end of April.

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