Trade of Asia

To release IMF funds, the Pakistani central bank may raise rates by another 200 basis points.

Reuters: Karachi, Pakistan In an off-cycle meeting on Thursday, Pakistan’s central bank is widely anticipated to increase its key policy rate by 200 basis points as it battles to secure crucial financing from the IMF, according to a Reuters poll.

An emergency meeting was expected by investors because it happens frequently in Pakistan. The monetary policy committee of the central bank was initially slated to meet on March 16.


All 16 economists and market observers polled predicted a hike; 14 of them predicted a rise of 200 basis points (bps), while 2 anticipated a rise of 250 bps.

Since January 2022, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has increased interest rates by 725 basis points.

The bank increased the key rate to 17% at its most recent policy meeting in January, blaming inflationary pressure. Since then, inflation has risen, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recording a 27.5% increase in January.

“Policy rates need to be adjusted with regard to it,” said Saad Rafi, head of equities at local brokerage company Al Habib Capital Markets. “CPI for February will be around 30%.”

The impoverished nation is taking significant steps to obtain a $1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including increasing taxes, eliminating blanket subsidies, and removing artificial exchange rate restraints.


Most of the attendees agreed that the meeting had been moved forward to help the government meet IMF requirements for a rate increase that have been reported in the media while it hurries to obtain a staff level agreement.

“It is undoubtedly detrimental to the market’s perception of the independence of SBP.” According to Fahad Rauf, director of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, the independence comes more than likely from the government and not the IMF. In the most recent treasury bill auction, where the government took bids with yields more than 200 basis points higher than the policy rate, he claimed that the market had already factored in a 200 basis point increase.

# Organization Expectation

1 AKD Securities 200

2 Al Habib Capital Markets 250


3 Ammar Habib 200

4 Arif Habib 200



Equity Global 200









FRIM Ventures 200









7 Insight Securities 200

8 Ismail Iqbal Securities 200

9 JS Capital 200

10 KTrade 200

11 Lakson Investments 200

12 Pak Kuwait Investment Company 200

13 Sakib Sherani 200

14 SCS Trade 200

15 Topline Securities 200

16 Vector Securities 250


Median 200

(This story has been refiled to change the company’s name in the table at the conclusion of the story from Pak Qatar Investment Company to Pak Kuwait Investment Company.)



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