Pakistan holds interest rates
22 Jul 2017 - 22:45
Karachi: Pakistan’s central bank left its interest rate unchanged in the first meeting headed by Governor Tariq Bajwa who was appointed this month after “miscommunication” led to the nation’s biggest currency plunge in nine years.
The State Bank of Pakistan kept target policy rate at 5.75 percent, Bajwa said yesterday at a briefing in Karachi. The central bank has not changed the rate since May last year, the longest streak in more than a decade. The government appointed former tax agency chief Bajwa days after the rupee plunged 3 percent on July 5, a decline Finance Minister Ishaq Dar put down to “miscommunication.” The rupee has since recouped most of the loss.
The currency wobble was another blow for the administration of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who along with his three children, face allegations of corruption after a probe delved into the family’s finances and London property purchases. The Supreme Court on Friday concluded its hearing into the investigative probe and said it would give an order over the case at an unspecified later date.
The nation’s current account gap more than doubled to $12.1bn in year ended June compared with $4.9bn year earlier. The rupee has weakened 0.9 percent against the dollar this year.