Rupee free fall continues on IMF review delay

KARACHI: The Pakistani rupee continued on its downward trajectory on Wednesday, closing at 176.98 against the dollar due to uncertainty over the sixth review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the $6 billion extended fund facility (EFF) programme.

According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the local currency shed 0.15%, closing at Rs176.98 against the greenback in the interbank market.

The decline came on the back of increased demand from the importers and a lack of sufficient supplies coupled with a delay in IMF review.

With a fresh decline of 0.15%, the rupee has depreciated by 12.33% (or Rs19.44) since the start of the current fiscal year on July 1, 2021, data released by the central bank revealed.

The rupee has maintained the downtrend for the past nine months. It has lost 15.68% (or Rs24.71) to date, compared to the 22-month high of Rs152.27 recorded in May 2021.

Investors remained on the sidelines after the news that the Executive Board of the IMF has once again delayed Pakistan’s sixth review.

It is pertinent to mention here that the IMF website, which lists its Executive Board Calendar, showed Pakistan’s discussion would be taken up on February 2.