KARACHI: The State Bank held another meeting with exchange companies on Thursday to check increase in dollar rate in the open market.

The interbank rate on Thursday was quoted as Rs141.50 while the greenback disappeared in the kerb.

In an earlier meeting held on April 1, the central bank had asked dealers to bring down dollar prices and not charge more than 1pc of the interbank rate. The dollar traded at Rs144 in the open market on April 1.

However, since the Monday meeting, dealers changed the trading mode and practically stopped selling dollars. According to dealers, the open market is now a ‘buyers market’, with 80 per cent dealers only buying dealers.

“Today’s meeting was about the same issues. We have told the State Bank that dollar price is increasing because of interbank rate,” said Malik Bostan, the president of Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan.

He said Saudi riyal equal to $6 billion is required this year for about 2 million pilgrims heading to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah.

“The Saudi riyal has almost disappeared from the market and only 30pc is available compared to normal days. This has drastically reduced the inflow of the dollar against the Saudi currency from Dubai,” said Bostan.

Since the conclusion of the IMF official’s visit to Pakistan on March 5, the dollar has started appreciating rapidly and gained Rs3 within a month.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2019