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Posted On: 6 November 2008 09:22 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Result buoys Asian currencies in Qatar

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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The news of Barack Obama's victory in the US Presidential election buoyed the sagging Asian currencies in the local foreign exchange market here yesterday, with the Indian rupee showing a record appreciation against the Qatari riyal (QR). A riyal yesterday fetched barely Rs12.99 as against Rs13.33 on Tuesday, a rate which had been quite stable ever since the Indian currency began taking a beating against the dollar due to an economic slowdown a few weeks ago. The rupee had plummeted to a record low of 13.69 against the QR in recent weeks as concerns related to the global financial meltdown peaked in India. The peso was also involved in a record recovery against the riyal in the Qatari foreign exchange market yesterday as it improved to 13.14 from Tuesday's level of 13.31. "Barring the Pakistani rupee, all major Asian currencies have appreciated against the riyal on reports of Obama's win," Muzammil Hanif, Senior Vice-President of Al Fardan Exchange, told The Peninsula. Since the riyal is pegged to the greenback, a currency appreciating against it naturally shows a gain against the riyal. "The Filipinos think that Obama's victory would have a positive impact on their country's economy and that explains the currency's buoyancy," Muzammil Hanif, whose exchange house is quite active on the Doha-Manila sector, said. According to him, the Pakistani currency didn't react to Obama's win and remained stable at 22.30 against the riyal due to the continuing worries related to Pakistan's foreign exchange (FE) reserves crunch. "Pakistanis are awaiting a deferred all-payment facility worth a staggering $5bn from Saudi Arabia for a bailout," said Hanif. He hoped that the rupee would subsequently strengthen since it had fallen by a huge 30 per cent in recent weeks. The State Bank of India-managed Trust Exchange, while maintaining that the Indian rupee's surge reflected the overall sentiment of the Asian markets to the outcome of the US presidential poll, said it was quite surprising that the dollar didn't react positively to Obama's victory. "We were expecting the greenback to strengthen," Brahma Rao, Trust Exchange's General Manager, said. He said even middle-income Indians in Qatar had remitted home up to Rs3m to Rs4m on average when the currency was ruling at the lowest levels recently. "Such was the rush for remittances that Indians here had even taken bank loans to remit funds home to benefit from a depreciating rupee," Rao said. The Pen