Pakistan stocks round up worst week in 17 years, reports Bloomberg

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s stocks capped the worst week in 17 years, a few days after it was announced that the country and the IMF had agreed on a bailout package.

This week was quite troubling for Pakistan’s economy as the rupee fell and stocks tumbled. This came a few days after the IMF and Pakistan reached a staff-level agreement on a $6 billion bailout package.

This will be the 13th bailout package that Islamabad seeks from the international money lender since the 1980s. Though the government remains tight-lipped about the conditions the IMF have imposed in Pakistan, speculators think that further devaluation is on the cards.

Arif Habib, chief executive of the Afir Habib Corporation, said that the IMF programme was supposed to usher in certainty. However, confusions exists, he said.

“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,” he said.

Pakistan’s benchmark stock index has erased half its market value over the past two years. The currency has plunged more than 20 percent in the past year and according to a list prepared by Bloomberg, it is the worst performer out of 13 currencies in Asia.