The State Bank of Pakistan is under new leadership, as Governor Reza Baqir’s three-year term came to an end this week. Deputy Governor Murtaza Syed has been elevated to the position of Acting Governor, while rumours persist that Aasim Husain will be appointed as the central bank’s new permanent governor. The trio have served 18, 15 and 32 years at the IMF respectively.
At the very least, Dr Baqir’s two decades of experience with the IMF helped Pakistan negotiate yet another round of assistance from the Fund. Whether Pakistan is well-served by continually turning to the IMF however is another question worthy of serious debate.
It’s a vicious cycle, and one that Pakistan currently seems unable to break out of.
KSE-100 fell marginally this week, after a week-long Eid holiday. PKR depreciated this week, as foreign remittances usually slow down post-Eid. Local gold prices also fell this week.
Weekly Data Watch (SPI): No SPI this week on account of Eid
What Else We’re Reading (Local)
- Monthly inflation has hit its highest level in two and a half years, with no signs of slowing down. (Business Recorder)
- A new research report found that the food subsidy under the proposed Ehsaas Rashan Programme is unlikely to benefit its target demographic, due to accessibility issues and high transaction costs. (Dawn)
What Else We’re Reading (International)
- John Lee, a former police officer and security minister who supported the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, is likely to be appointed as the territory’s new chief-executive. (Bloomberg)
- Voters in the Philippines will cast ballots for a new president on Monday. The front-runner is Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the country’s late dictator, and his running mate is the outgoing president’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio. (WSJ)