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CURRENCY FLUCTUATION TO BENEfiT UAE EXPATS.

Fluctuations in major currencies provided experts in the UAE with favorable rates when it came to sending money back home to their families, industry experts said. "We have seen various currencies depreciate through the year, and that has proved beneficial for expats remitting money," said Sudhesh Giriyan, COO of Xpress Money.

Giriyan elaborated that the currency fluctuations were brought about by economic and political news that gave expats the opportunity to send money home at favourable rates - such as when the British pound dipped after the Brexit referendum result, or the present situation of the Indian rupee.

"We've seen our remittance business hold steady, despite global headwinds," he revealed. "We are currently seeing a strong dollar post the US election results in anticipation of an expansionary fiscalpolicy. This pushes the GCC currencies higher due to the dollar peg, and might result in favourable rates for expats sending money home. We've already been seeing an increase in the volumes of transactions in response to these favourable currency fluctuations." Meanwhile, the World Bank also estimates that remittances to Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) will edge up by 0.8 per cent in 2016. "So, while macro challenges persist, we're seeing remittances prove robust in the face of them," Giriyan noted.

Promoth Manghat, chief executive officer of UAE Exchange Group, noted that the most popular and major currency pairs are the euro/US dollar, US dollar/Japanese yen, and the British pound/US dollar. 2016 saw these currencies opening at the rate of 1.085, 120.13, and 1.473 respectively. But, by the end of an eleven-month period - as on November 28, 2016 - these currencies closed at the rate of 1.061 for the euro/US dollar, 111.93 for the US dollar/Japanese yen, and 1.241 for the British pound/US dollar due to the various socio-economic-political factors, resulting in significant fluctuation.

According to Manghat, if the US Federal Reserve hikes the interest rates, the other currencies are bound to go down further. "Meanwhile the US dollar/Indian rupee, US dollar/Pakistan rupee, and the US dollar/Bangladesh taka are the major currency pairs for us as a remittance brand," he added. "In the beginning of 2016, these currencies opened at 66.57, 104.84, and 78.45 respectively. By the end of an eleven-month period - as on November 28 - these currencies closed at the rate of 68.47, 104.80 and 78.70 respectively."

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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Date:Dec 18, 2016
Words:458
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