Pakistan rupee sinks to record low versus dollar


The rupee fell to 100.1 to the greenback in trading in Karachi, down from 99.30 on the open market on Friday. Photo — Bloomberg file picture

Karachi: The Pakistani rupee yesterday sank to an all-time low against the US dollar over forex reserve fears as the country repayed $146 million to the International Monetary Fund.

The rupee fell to 100.1 to the greenback in trading in Karachi, down from 99.30 on the open market on Friday, and has now lost 39 per cent of its value against the US currency since March 2008.

"We have traded the dollar at 100.1 rupees, although there is a slight difference in the open market," said currency dealer Mohammad Arshad.

The official inter-bank rate for the dollar is 98 rupees, but Mohammad Sohail, who heads brokerage firm Topline Securities, confirmed it had crossed 100 on the open market.

Pakistan had a $10.7 billion IMF loan until September, but had drawn only about a third of it. The government has indicated it would not seek a new loan.

Pakistan repaid $145.79 million to the International Monetary Fund yesterday and is scheduled to repay another $375 million on February 26, according to Syed Wasimuddin, spokesman for the country's central State Bank.

So far Pakistan has repaid $2.57 billion, $1.5 million this fiscal year, ending June 30, according to the central bank.

"The rupee is likely to remain under pressure because of IMF repayments," said Sohail.
"The foreign exchange reserves have declined to $8.7 billion as of January 31 from $10.8 billion at end-June 2012," said the central bank last week.

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