PKR World Champion

Some skeptics and naysayers (what can we do without them) are complaining that Saudi Arabia/GCC contribution of $1.5B comes with hidden strings (weapons for Syria). Conspiracies also tied it to the (lack of) progress in the ongoing Musharraf trial (summary: he did not show up).

Most plausible is the explanation that the money is a token of friendship that runs deep between the Saudis and Nawaz Sharif. The gift is being referred to as halal dollars.

Getting to #1 is a significant achievement. Now the only thing to do is to maintain the momentum, and to tell the Taliban (sweetly) to knock it off.
Pakistan’s rupee surged 5.2 percent
this week, the best performance among world currencies, as the
nation’s rising foreign reserves and improving economy buoyed
investor confidence.

The country’s currency stockpile climbed to $9.52 billion
this week, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said yesterday, from $8.3
billion at the end of 2013. The economy is on course to achieve
the official target of 4.4 percent expansion in the year ending
June 30, he said, after the prior period’s 3.6 percent growth. A
planned global bond offering, an auction of third-generation
mobile-phone licenses and an International Monetary Fund loan
are set to boost fund inflows, according to the central bank.

The rupee rallied 7 percent this month to 98.08 per dollar,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency, which
touched the strongest level since June of 97.7870 yesterday,
slipped 0.2 percent today. JS Global Capital Ltd., a Karachi-based brokerage, said it raised its year-end forecast for the
rupee yesterday to 106 from 111.

“Foreign-exchange reserves have a huge hand in this”
rally, said Muzzammil Aslam, Karachi-based managing director at
research firm Emerging Economics Research. “Expectations for
further inflows are high, including the IMF loan tranche and the
3G auction scheduled for next month.”

Pakistan plans to raise as much as $500 million in its
first overseas bond sale since 2007, according to Finance
Minister Dar. The offering is expected to take place by end-March and may be followed with a sukuk issuance, Dar said in
Dubai on Feb. 9.

The State Bank of Pakistan may leave its benchmark interest
rate unchanged if the government meets targets under an IMF
program to draw inflows of as much as $3 billion by June, Hamza Ali Malik, director of the monetary policy department at the
central bank, said in a Feb. 17 interview. The rupee may soon stabilize amid concern its rally will
threaten exports, according to Khurram Schehzad, chief
investment officer managing stocks, bonds and commodities worth
$150 million at Karachi-based Lakson Investments.

“Reserves have improved and there is a sentiment shift,”
said Farrah Marwat, head of research in Karachi at JS Global
Capital. “You can see the government has picked up pace on all
the commitments such as the Eurobond, privatization and the 3G


Brown Pundits