Dollar rate falls in the interbank but the market is once again calling the bluff

Open market back to speculating; bracing for default is safer bet

ISLAMABAD: Since October 2022, there has been a discrepancy in the prices of the dollars at the interbank level and that at the open market level. Sometimes that discrepancy was driven by market forces while other times it was subdued by self-imposed price caps. The discrepancy became prominent in January right before the dollar rate first touched the 255 mark. The little discrepancy that was left behind, was cleared in the first week of March when the greenback hit its highest ever level (285) against the rupee in a single day’s trade.

Ever since that plummeting of the rupee against the dollar, the interbank and the open market rate have been at a stalemate. Both these rates have been hovering around 290 and it was thought that some semblance of stability might have been achieved. The market anticipated that the price of the greenbacks had reached its peak and for the first time in a few months, the market started seeing some selling of the US Dollars. 

But this feeling of stability was short-lived. As delays in the staff-level agreement with the IMF have reached a 2-month mark, the speculators have started seeing default as an imminent reality. In such circumstances, the market has seen a drying up in selling activity but more importantly, the chatter that the value of dollar is in fact upwards of 300 is now public discourse. Even when the interbank rate dropped below 284, after the confirmation of a pledge of $2 billion dollars from the Saudi government, the open market stood firmly at 290+.

This results in the booming of the business of the black market fear mongers and also creates an excessive demand for dollars in the market. As of 7th April, the interbank dollar rate stood at 284 Rs/dollar whereas the open market quotations obtained by Profit stood at 293 Rs./dollar. Let us see how the regulator reacts to the gap this time. Is another depreciation around the corner or will the IMF tranche make it in time?

- Advertisement -
Shahnawaz Ali
Shahnawaz Ali
The author is a Business and Finance journalist at Profit and can be reached via email at sha[email protected] and via twitter @shahnawaz_ali1


  1. Soaring of dollar price is artificial and game of mafia and hoarders. The government should close open trade of all currencies and only banks and financial institutes may be allowed to sell purchase dollars at interbank rate. More over big exchange companies be institutionalised as financial institution. All banks may be bound to deal in dollar and bonds 24/7.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Must Read

TPL Logistics makes offer to acquire GEMUNSL’s e-commerce division

Universal Network Systems Limited (PSX: GEMUNSL) has received a substantial acquisition offer from TPL Logistics (Private) Limited for its domestic e-commerce division. GEMUNSL announced in...