International Monetary Fund

Article excerpt

Yields on government paper are expected to climb further as Pakistan tightens monetary policy to meet terms set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The moves are to support an IMF-prescribed policy of curtailing government borrowing from the central bank and making commercial bank borrowing expensive for the cash-starved state, they said.

Financial analysts said that the moves could trigger an interest rate hike, which would help commercial banks buying T-bills but harm earnings of industry.

"With the increase in discount rate and T-bill rates, we expect other benchmark rates in the economy o move in tandem", a research note by brokers First Capital ABN AMRO Equities said.

"Rising financial costs will depress earning prospects for highly-leveraged firms in the domestic market, an increase in interest will work in favour of the banking sector at large".

Average lending rates have ranged between 11 per cent for prime corporate customers and 14 per cent for other clients over the last year as the central bank relaxed its monetary policy, bankers said.

Bankers said the next step toward. tighter monetary policy would be narrowing a wide gap between the central bank's key discount rate and yields on government paper. The gap has stayed over 3.6 percentage points most of the year.

Even after auction when the central bank raised the benchmark six-month T-bill yield by 1. …