Stock - Pakistan economy - Pakistani rupee
Will an IMF deal confirmation get PKR back to 200/$? Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: The Pakistan rupee is trending higher, at 56.43 to the dirham, as fresh optimism sweeps through the economy that a deal with the IMF on the release of new funds is a certainty. Plus, the PKR continues to get the lift from China extending fresh revolving credit to Pakistan and that other nations too will do the same.

For Pakistan expats in the UAE planning to send remittances, it would be best not to wait too long. A further strengthening is the most likely option, more so when the IMF release of a further $3 billion is confirmed.

Renewed optimism is what has driven PKR from “58.05 to the dirham to 56.35 levels,” said a currency analyst. “The PKR had been the worst performing currency in Asia this year, having lost 17 per cent of its value this year, and much of which happened since March.”

In dollar terms, the PKR’s fall has been dramatic. It began the year at 176.50 to the dollar and had dropped to 212 in recent days before the current recovery to 207 early Friday (June 24). Most analysts forecast further gains in the coming days, further narrowing the remittance options for expats.

But what could happen post any IMF deal is up in the air. If there are more provisions attached to the deal on subsidy rollback, it could turn the currency volatile again. The recent federal budget “already had indications of what’s to come with higher taxes, and there has already been increases in power tariffs and fuel prices,” said an audit firm chief. “Our forecasts are for PKR to maintain 200 plus levels to the dollar. A gain to the 180 levels seem remote.”