Currency fluctuation to benefit expatriates

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Most of the expatriates in Qatar are likely to benefit from currency fluctuation in the ongoing year as major currencies remitted from Qatar are likely to depreciate further in 2015. Indian, Nepali, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and Pakistani currencies are expected to weaken while currencies of Egypt and the Philippine are expected to remain stable.

“The trend of decline in most of the Asian currencies is likely to continue in the current year. The weakening in these currencies is because of ongoing strengthening of US Dollar,” Zuber Abdul Rahman, Operations Manager, Al Zaman Exchange, told The Peninsula.

A depreciating currency augurs well for expatriates as a given amount fetches more because of the decline.

The dollar index, which measures the dollar’s performance against a basket of major trading currencies, was up 12 percent in 2014. All the major currencies around the globe including Euro, Pound Sterling, Yen and other had weakened last year against greenback.

Rise in dollar is coming from recovery in the United States. Recent data has reinforced the view that the US, which is the world’s largest economy, is improving that may prompt its the central bank to consider raising interest rates in mid-2015. Rising rates will attract money from global investors who are always looking to maximise returns. Other investment options such as Gold and crude oil are also not doing well, leaving Dollar as the only choice for them.

Last year Pakistan’s currency bucked the trend by appreciating against Dollar but the rise was result inflow of huge funds. “Pakistani currency will only strengthen if Pakistan sees major fund inflows in 2015 like last year. The currency will depreciate in absence of fund inflow,” added Rahman.

Depreciating currencies also means more remittance and healthy business of exchange house in Qatar. “The remittances are likely to increase with depreciation in currencies. Expatriate tend to send more money home when currencies declining. However this trend is visible in case of expatriates with high or middle income. Limited income expatriates are indifferent to currency fluctuations,” said a senior official working in a currency exchange.

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India, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt are among the countries receiving major remittances from expatriates in Qatar. Indian Rupee is currently trading around 17.40 against Qatari Riyal, Egyptian Pound at 7.14, Philippines Peso at 12.25, Bangladeshi Taka at 21.60, Nepali Rupee at 27.90, Pakistani Rupee at 27.60 and Sri Lankan Rupee at 36.

Source : The Peninsula / Sachin Kumar

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