Pakistan’s financial markets get a boost from IMF deal

Rupee breaks 17-session losing streak against dollar, while PSX crosses 57,000 mark

An investor in PSX.  - AFP/File
An investor in PSX. – AFP/File
  • The rupee broke its 17-session losing streak against the dollar.
  • PSX crossed the 57,000 mark – this is its record high.
  • Pakistan is set to get 700 million dollars from IMF soon.

Following the staff-level agreement between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 index surged over 57,000 points, while the rupee also improved against the dollar.

A day earlier, Pakistan had reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF on the first review of the $3 billion bailout.

The IMF announced in a statement on Wednesday that following approval from the fund’s Executive Board, Pakistan will have access to about $700 million, bringing total disbursements under the program to about $1.9 billion.

Today, the rupee broke a 17-session low after gaining 0.76 rupees against the dollar and ended the day at 287.38 rupees against the greenback in the interbank market, State Bank of Pakistan data showed. On Wednesday, the local currency had closed at Rs 288.14.

The benchmark KSE-100 index hit an intraday high of 57,549.26 points. However, it closed at 57,397.02 points, up 716.96 points or 1.26% from the previous close of 56,680.06 points.

in conversation with jio.tvDr Khaqan Hassan Najib, a former adviser to the Finance Ministry, said the PSX surge was due to the staff-level agreement with the IMF. He said the $700 million from the global lender would help pave the way for Pakistan to receive “much-needed” external financing.

“The IMF approval means the government has delivered on fiscal consolidation as well as energy price changes that reduce circular debt,” Dr Najib said.

The economist believes that external financing “flows will provide some comfort to the foreign exchange market as well as an increase in the supply side and debt instruments, including financing from both multilateral companies, program and project loans”.

He said that after the IMF agreement, loans will start coming in from bilateral and rollover, friendly countries and commercial funds.

“The rupee will definitely be determined by the kind of inflows that we see and the kind of demand that arises on the import side. In the long run, I always say that the parity of the rupee with any foreign currency depends on the productivity of the country,” said Dr Najeeb on rupee appreciation.

Total trading volume increased to 1.25 billion shares. Shares traded during the day were worth Rs 37.4 billion.

Shares of 385 companies were traded. Of these, 220 shares closed with gains, 147 closed with decline and 18 shares remained unchanged.

Worldcall Telecom was the volume leader with 386.3 million shares traded at Rs 1.59, up Rs 0.19. It was followed by Cenergico PK with 45.1 million shares, down by Rs 0.04 at Rs 4.70, and Pakistan Refinery Limited with 39.5 million shares closed at Rs 0.73 at Rs 24.97.

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