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Think Tank-Driven Strategies Transform Pakistan’s Currency

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In a remarkable turn of events, the Pakistani rupee has captured global attention by emerging as the best-performing currency in the world during the month of September.

This significant appreciation, witnessed amidst a crackdown on smuggling and illegal currency exchanges, signals a potential turning point for Pakistan’s economic landscape. This article delves into the factors contributing to the rupee’s stellar performance and the implications of this currency resurgence.

 

The Spectacular Rise of the Pakistani Rupee:

 

The Pakistani rupee’s journey to becoming the world’s top-performing currency in September is indeed extraordinary. Starting the month at Rs305.54 against the US dollar, the rupee made a remarkable leap, closing at Rs287.74 against the greenback on September 28. This impressive gain of Rs17.8, representing a 6.2% increase, has garnered widespread attention, signaling a newfound strength for the Pakistani currency. The rupee’s winning streak continued for 17 consecutive sessions, during which it appreciated nearly 7%. This remarkable turnaround followed the rupee’s record low of 307.1 on September 5, highlighting the currency’s resilience.

The Pakistani rupee’s journey to becoming the world’s top-performing currency in September is indeed extraordinary.

The Rankings:

 

According to data provided by brokerage house Arif Habib Limited (AHL), the Pakistani rupee secured its top position as the best-performing currency globally in September. The Mauritius rupee secured the second spot with a 0.7% appreciation, while the Hong Kong dollar ranked third with a 0.2% improvement during the same period. These rankings underscore the rupee’s exceptional performance on the international stage.

Starting the month at Rs305.54 against the US dollar, the rupee made a remarkable leap, closing at Rs287.74 against the greenback on September 28.

Crucial Factors Behind the Rupee’s Surge:

 

Several key factors have contributed to the Pakistani rupee’s impressive resurgence. One significant driver has been the government’s proactive measures to combat illegal currency smuggling and hoarding. These administrative actions have cracked down on speculative practices within informal currency markets, thereby stabilizing the rupee’s value.

 

Sana Tawfik, an analyst at AHL, highlighted the impact of these administrative measures, stating, “The appreciation comes amid a crackdown against informal channels that are used to smuggle currencies into neighboring countries.” Tawfik also noted that these measures have curtailed speculative and hoarding practices within the informal currency market.

 

Furthermore, during the same period, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) introduced structural reforms targeting the Exchange Companies (ECs) sector. Among these reforms was the directive for commercial banks to establish wholly-owned subsidiary ECs and the increase in the minimum capital requirement for ECs from Rs200 million to Rs500 million. These reforms aimed to enhance transparency and accountability within the currency exchange sector.

 

Implications and Outlook:

 

The narrowing gap between open- and inter-bank exchange rates is a promising sign, suggesting that remittances may witness improvements and potentially reach up to $2.4 billion in the coming months. This influx of external flows could alleviate pressure on the rupee and bolster its stability.

 

Mohammed Sohail, CEO of brokerage house Topline Securities, emphasized the positive outcomes resulting from government and regulatory efforts to control illegal currency trade and smuggling. He noted that the rupee has gained substantial ground against major currencies in both the inter-bank and open markets.

 

Sohail dismissed any concerns of this crackdown being perceived as market intervention by international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), asserting that it represents a necessary step towards compliance and transparency.

 

Conclusion:

 

The Pakistani rupee’s remarkable performance in September serves as a testament to the effectiveness of administrative measures and structural reforms undertaken by the government and the SBP. While this resurgence is undoubtedly a positive development, the sustainability of the rupee’s gains will depend on continued efforts to combat illegal currency activities and promote market-based exchange rates. The world watches with anticipation as Pakistan’s currency regains strength, opening new possibilities for its economic future.

 

Abu Bakr Alvi
Abu Bakr Alvi
Mr. Abu Bakr Alvi, Senior Journalist Based in Faisalabad

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