14 Jan 2018 - 10:15
Pakistan, Bangladesh expats get extra value for money
By Sachin Kumar | The Peninsula
DOHA: Pakistani and Bangladeshi expatriates benefitted most by currency fluctuation last year. Pakistani rupee weakened by almost 6 percent in 2017 while Bangladeshi taka depreciated by around 5 percent during the year, giving expatriates of these countries extra value for their money.
Pakistani rupee was trading at 28.64 per Qatari riyal on January 1, 2017, which later depreciated to 30.39 against one riyal at the end of the year.
Similarly, Bangladeshi taka weakened to 22.73 per riyal at the start of the year to 21.66 per riyal at the end of the year.
Sri Lankan rupee also weakened around 1 percent during the year as the currency depreciated from 40.93 per riyal at the start of the year to 41.80 at the end of 2017.
However, Indian and Nepali expatriates were impacted negatively as their currencies strengthened during the year. Indian Rupee strengthened by 7 percent while Nepalese currency appreciated by around 5 percent, eroding earning of expatriates of these countries. Indian Rupee appreciated to 17.40 per riyal at the end of 2017 from 18.69 per riyal at the beginning of the year.
Currencies of Egypt and The Philippines did not show much fluctuation and remained mostly stable.
A depreciating currency augurs well for expatriates because they get additional income because of decline. For example, a Bangladeshi expatriate was getting around 21 Bangladeshi taka for one Qatari Riyal at the beginning of January when the taka was quoting 21.66 against Riyal but now he is getting around 23 taka because his currency is trading weak at 22.73 per Riyal.
On the contrary, appreciating currency is a bad news for expatriates. An Indian expatriate was getting 18.50 rupee for one Riyal in the beginning of 2017 when Indian currency was quoting 18.69 against one riyal but now he is getting around 17.35 rupee.
“The currency movement of countries depend on many factors but there are two main factors, first is the economic performance of that country and second is the movement in the value of dollar, said the regional manager of an exchange house.
“If the economic performance of a country is good than the currency of that country strengthens,” he added. “Major currencies are pegged to the US Dollar. The American currency depreciated by around 10 percent in 2017 that led to the strengthening of some currencies,” he added.
The ICE dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six other currencies, fell nearly 10 percent in 2017.
During the year, the American currency weakened against the yen, sterling, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, which are the other index components. The current year is likely to be volatile for currencies because experts expect dollar may face more headwinds in 2018.