Pakistan Stocks Cap Worst Week in 17 Years After Loan

(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s rupee and stocks fell, extending the week’s losses, after the nation secured a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Market Highlights
  • Rupee fell 0.9% to 147.88 per dollar at the close, according to central bank data compiled by Bloomberg. It tumbled 3.6% Thursday.
  • KSE-100 Index dropped 2.4% to close down for a seventh straight week, the longest streak since 2001

The South Asian nation is expected to adopt tough measures as part of its deal with the IMF, which investors speculate may include further currency devaluation. It secured its 13th IMF bailout since the late 1980s for about $6 billion earlier this week after a six-month delay.

Pakistan Stocks Cap Worst Week in 17 Years After Loan

“The IMF program was supposed to bring certainty. Unfortunately until now there is confusion,” Arif Habib, chief executive office at Arif Habib Corporation said in a televised program after meeting finance adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as part of a business community delegation in Karachi on May 16. “We have asked the finance adviser to tell us what is going to happen. People have not been able to anticipate where the rupee and interest rates will stand.”

Pakistan’s benchmark stock index has erased half its market value over the past two years as the deterioration in the economy prompted rating agencies to downgrade the nation. The currency has plunged more than 20% in the past year, the worst performer in a basket of 13 currencies in Asia compiled by Bloomberg.

The central bank is due to meet Monday to decide on monetary policy, with economists from Intermarket Securities Ltd. and Foundation Securities Pvt among those expecting a seventh straight hike in interest rates.

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