September remittances improve slightly but lower than expected

Analyst says remittances are expected to improve in the coming months after premium between interbank and open markets reduced 

Remittances for September came in at $2.21 billion, according to data shared by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday. This figure, while an improvement from last month’s $2.09 billion, was significantly lower than market expectations of $2.4-2.5 billion. 

On a month-on-month basis, remittances rose by 5.3%. However, they declined by 11.24% compared to last year, when remittances stood at $2.49 billion.

The market was expecting remittances to improve following a massive crackdown on exchange rate manipulation in the open market, and the subsequent reduction in the premium between the open and interbank markets.

Rupee’s appreciation

Pakistanis abroad may choose to send remittances through banks, in which case they would become part of the interbank market, or exchange companies, which are part of the open market. Typically, the difference in the rates of the two markets is not very large; under the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it cannot exceed 1.25% for more than five days. 

However, between August 28 and  September 4, the difference in the market rates widened to an alarming extent both in absolute and percentage terms — up to nearly Rs 30 per dollar or 8.5%. And before the crackdown was launched in early September, a significant number of foreign exchange dealings, including remittances, were either being done ‘off the books’ in the open market or diverted to the grey market, General Secretary of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) Zafar Paracha told Profit in an interview last month. It all changed, however, once the authorities launched a massive crackdown on illegal foreign exchange trade.

On Sep 1, the per dollar interbank rate was Rs 305.46. By Sep 28, this was down to Rs 287.74 per dollar — an improvement of Rs 17.72 per dollar or 5.08%. Similarly, the per dollar open market rate on Sep 4 was Rs 331. By Sep 28, the rupee’s value had improved to Rs 288 per dollar — up by Rs 43 or 12.99%. 

So, why did this strengthening in the rupee not lead to increased inflows of remittances through legal channels? Perhaps the effect is lagged. Fahad Rauf, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, noted that while remittances were lower than expected this month, given that the gap between interbank and open markets has reduced now, they should pick up going forward.

Breakdown of remittances received

According to SBP data, the highest amount of remittances was received from Saudi Arabia at $538.2 million, followed by the United Arab Emirates at $400 million, the United Kingdom at $311.1 million and the United States at $263.4 million. 

Meanwhile, remittances from other GCC countries totalled $248.1 million, while Pakistanis in the European Union sent $269.3 million. 

Overall, total remittances in the first three months of FY24 stood at $6.33 billion, down 19.8% from last year’s figure of $7.89 billion. 



  1. اوورسیز پاکستانی حقیقی جمہوریت جو معاشی استحکام کی ضامن ہوتی ہے اور فوجی اداروں کو بھی قانون و احتساب کے نیچے دیکھنا چاہتے ہیں جیسا باقی مہذب دنیا یا ان کے میزبان ممالک میں ہے جس سے خود ان کی انوسٹمنٹس محفوط اور منافع بخش ہونگی ورنہ وہ تاریک مستقبل کے ساتھ ہمیشہ خسارے میں رہینگے۔
    مقتدرہ کے خوف کی قوت پر 75 سال سے نافذ کردہ فاشسٹ معاشی اور معاشرتی نظام کو پیسہ دینا، اپنے مال اور افعال سے ظلم کو سپورٹ کرنا اسے عمر طویل دینا ہے۔

  2. Hulu ad blocker is a browser extension that helps block advertisements while streaming content on the platform, it prevents ads from playing during TV shows, movies, and series that allow you to watch your favorite programs and shows without any disruptions.

  3. Spotify ad blocker is the ultimate solution that allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes without those disturbing ads interrupting your music streaming experience on Spotify, So it’s time to say goodbye to those annoying ads that break the rhythm of your playlists.

  4. Twitch ad blocker is a helpful tool that stops ads from appearing when you watch live streams on Twitch, it prevents all those annoying ads from showing up in between, So it’s time to install the extension to broadcast live streams in a hassle-free manner.

  5. Look no further than a YouTube party! Enjoy YouTube with your friends, or loved ones, no matter where you are. Use live chats, videos, and calls to talk and have fun together. It’s like having your own showtime parties, even if you’re far away!

  6. Let’s party now with Amazon Prime Watch Party, you and your friends can watch Prime Video together. No matter how far apart you are, have a blast with synced videos, chatting together, and even making video calls while using your favorite streaming site.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read