A scene inside a remittance exchange shop in Satwa, Dubai. In the UAE, a number of remittance agents with direct links to the SSS network can help OFWs get a PRN, including UAE Exchange, Al Ghurair Exchange, Orient Exchange, Al Rostamani. The SSS uses a number of remittance clearing including iRemit, Ventaja and AUB, which allow for instant credit of your SSS payments. Image Credit: Courtesy, Julian de Jesus

Dubai: UAE expatriates from a number of Asian countries may have a reason to rejoice these days, with the value of the US dollar rising significantly against their home countries' currencies in recent months.

According to the latest data released on Tuesday, the Indian rupee, Indonesian rupiah and the Philippine peso are now the weakest among the currencies of the fast-growing economies in Asia.

The figures, shared by the Philippines’ Department of Finance (DOF), could spell good news for the hundreds of thousands of workers in the UAE who regularly transfer funds to help dependents back home, as a stronger dollar gives their dirham earnings more remittance power.

Among the 12 currencies in the study, the rupee emerged as the weakest, having depreciated 11.7 per cent against the greenback as of September 4 this year.

The Indonesian rupiah suffered the second-biggest decline at 9 per cent, followed by the Philippine peso at 7.39 per cent.

“The most depreciated currencies were Indian rupee depreciating by 11.7 per cent and Indonesia, by 9 per cent,” the finance department said in the latest economic bulletin.

Money transfer operators in UAE have said that a stronger US dollar is a boon for expatriates in the UAE. “Non-resident Indians can make the most of the currency decline as they can avail [themselves of] better exchange rates while sending money back home,”  Sudhesh Giriyan, COO of Xpress Money said earlier at the start of the rupee’s decline.

Other Asian currencies that have also taken a beating from the American dollar is the Chinese yuan, which has fallen by 4.97 per cent since the beginning of the year, as well as the Korean won, down by 4.46 per cent and Taiwan dollar (3.46 per cent).

The Department of Finance, however, pointed out that while India, Indonesia and the Philippines have registered the biggest currency declines, it doesn’t mean their economies aren’t doing well.

In fact, they are the fastest growing countries, with India posting the highest gross domestic product (GDP) rate at 8.2 per cent, followed by the Philippines at 6.3 per cent and Indonesia at 5.2 per cent.

“The countries experiencing the highest depreciations were among the fastest growing countries,” the department of finance said.

How much the Asian currencies have depreciated against the US dollar this year:

India
Currency: rupee
Year-to-date decline: 11.7 per cent

Philippines
Currency: peso
Year-to-date decline: 7.39 per cent

Indonesia
Currency: rupiah
Year-to-date decline: 9.04 per cent

China
Currency: yuan
Year-to-date decline: 4.97 per cent

Korea: 4.46 per cent

Taiwan: 3.46 per cent

Singapore 3 per cent

Vietnam: 2.65 per cent

Malaysia: 2.31 per cent

Japan: 1.03 per cent

Thailand: 0.64 per cent

Hong Kong: 0.45 per cent