Rupee stable against dollar

KARACHI: The rupee remained against the dollar at 105.35/105.55 in the inter-bank market on Friday compared to Thursday’s close of 105.35/105.55.

The currency market has fluctuated regularly in recent months with hefty rises and falls on some occasions. In the long run, however, the rupee has stood firm after experiencing extensive volatility, when it weakened from around Rs98 to a dollar to above Rs103 in the wake of political impasse over alleged election rigging.

The central bank has imposed 100% cash margin on the import of certain consumer goods to restrict the demand for US dollars. The rupee has been one of the best performing currencies in Asia for over three years despite the dollar’s sharp appreciation against other currencies.

However, the International Monetary Fund has repeatedly said that Pakistan’s rupee is overvalued by 5-20%. According to analysts, the artificial support for the rupee has adversely affected Pakistan’s exports.

State Bank to settle loans with banks via shares

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has allowed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to receive shares of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL) and House Building Finance Corporation Ltd (HBFCL) in settlement of loans outstanding against these two organisations.

The combined financial statements of the federation, all the provincial governments and the district authorities for the years 2010-11 to 2013-14 were also placed before the cabinet for perusal, according to an official handout issued by the Prime Minister Office.

The cabinet, which met under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, also approved a proposal for issuance of 50,000 pieces of commemorative coins of Rs50 in honour of Dr Ruth Pfau, the German-born Pakistani physician who died in August, for her contribution in establishing 157 leprosy clinics across Pakistan that treated over 56,000 people.