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SBP cracks the whip on money changers

Updated October 13, 2017

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) asked money changers on Thursday to bring down the dollar price by at least one per cent to reduce the gap in the open market and interbank rates.

SBP officials held a meeting with exchange companies at the central bank to address the issue of rising dollar rates in the open market.

The open market currently offers Rs107.30-50 per dollar while the interbank rate is Rs105.35-45.

No devaluation imminent, dealers assured

“The open market is overloaded with demand (for the dollar) in the wake of news reports about the rupee devaluation,” said Malik Bostan, president of the Forex Association of Pakistan.

However, the SBP categorically denied reports about the likelihood of devaluation. The exchange companies informed the SBP that about $800 million was bought from the open market in the last three months alone.

Mr Bostan said 80,000 luxury cars are being imported annually, costing $1 billion through hawala.

The exchange companies asked the government to stop luxury car imports. The SBP assured the exchange companies that the open market will be kept supplied with dollars should liquidity issues arise.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2017