KARACHI: Despite higher remittances and other loans and euro bonds payments, the dollar touched Rs 161.48 in the interbank market on Monday. The US dollar gained Rs 1.54 against the rupee in the interbank market on Monday. 

On the last closing day (Friday), the greenback ended at Rs 161.10.

Market analysts say that high demand from the importers and delays in negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were the main reasons behind this surge. The greenback is in demand in the interbank market owing to rising imports, he further claimed.

The government of Pakistan had received a $1 billion loan from the Chinese government and $400 million from the World Bank in the last two weeks, while the government had raised $1 billion through Euro Bonds from the international market. The country had received around $2.4 billion in the last 20 days.

Pakistani banks are also receiving around $3-$4 million daily from Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA), the industry sources said. Meanwhile, the remittances of Eid-ul-Azha are also coming through the banking channels or the exchange companies.

The bankers said, “The demand was coming from the importers of textile sector and others including the oil sector.” The government has opened the import of textile raw material and machinery to boost the country’s exports this year, he added. Earlier the government had capped this kind of import, he claimed.

According to market analysts, there is a shortage of dollars in the interbank market and now US currency is out of control and the government wanted to keep it between Rs 159-160 to support the exporters.

Pakistan Forex Association said there is no demand for greenback in Pakistan and the exchange companies are following the interbank rates.

According to the SBP, 181,556 accounts have been opened from 171 countries across the world and $1.562 billion has been deposited in these accounts through end-June 2021.

The data shows an accelerating trend across all these dimensions over the last few months. June 2021 saw the highest monthly amount of deposits ($310 million) and NPC investments ($233 million) since the launch of the Roshan Digital Account.

As of end-June 2021, $1050 million has been invested in NPCs, with $621 million in conventional NPCs and $429 million in Islamic NPCs.

The sources in the Kerb market said that exchange companies are selling $5-$6 million to the interbank market daily, but the demand for this currency in the interbank is high.

In the open currency market, the dollar is being traded at Rs 160.80 for buying and Rs 161.00 for selling.

The author is a senior business reporter with bylines in leading newspapers and magazines across Pakistan.

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