KARACHI: The rupee strengthened to 101.5/101.7 against the dollar in the inter-bank market on Wednesday compared to Tuesday’s close of 101.6/101.8. The currency market has stabilised over the past few months after experiencing extensive volatility, when the rupee weakened from around Rs98 to a dollar to above Rs103 in the wake of political impasse over alleged election rigging. Earlier, the rupee remained glued to the Rs98 level for months, recovering from the historic low of Rs110. It came under pressure following heavy debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other creditors, which ate into the central bank’s foreign currency reserves. In 2013-14, the reserves, however, swelled more than 50%, thanks to IMF and other assistance and growing remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis. The remittances rose 14.6% year-on-year to .3 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2015.