Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan in March 2020, the foreign investment inflows in T-bills have exceeded outflows, the latest data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed.
Before the start of the pandemic, inflows in the treasury bills (T-bills) and Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) had reached nearly $3.5 billion within nine months of their launch, making these ‘hot money.’
The quick popularity of inflows was primarily driven by high returns. In the November 20, 2019 auction, the returns on three-, six- and 12-month T-bills were 13.51 percent, 13.28 percent, and 13.24 percent, respectively.
However, after the advent of COVID-19, a significant decrease in inflows was witnessed in these two instruments, causing the investments to reach back to their origins soon afterward.
Now once again, the inflows of investment in T-bills by August 16, 2021, reached $15.98 million, with the outflows clocking in at $12.14 million, according to SBP data.
The net inflows in T-bills during the first two months of the current fiscal year (July-August 2021) amounted to $79.5 million, with the cumulative outflows slightly over $80.7 million.
The sources of these inflows before and after the pandemic remained pretty much the same few countries, mainly the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Prior to the pandemic, the US, UK, and UAE contributed $583 million $488.7 million, and $19.57 million, respectively. This time around the inflows are $49.9 million from UAE, $21 million from the UK, and $8.2 million from Singapore.
PIBs showed the same trend with inflows of $16 million far exceeding outflows of $8.3 million, the central bank data showed.