KARACHI - The gap between the inter-bank and the open market exchange rate of dollar-rupee widened to Rs2 that may encourage hundi business in the country. In the inter-bank, the dollar-rupee exchange rate climbed up to Rs 82 while in the open market the exchange rate surged to at Rs 84 amid weak foreign exchange reserve position, slowdown in financial inflows and persistent demand pressure.   "Given record depreciating position of rupee, the native and the foreign investors can not be restrained from investing through unofficial or irregular medium of exchange trading likewise hundi market. As long as the exchange rate is getting broadened between the interbank and kerb dealings, the trade volume of hudi business will also be exceeded", a forex dealer told The Nation. "In the prevalent market situation, the boom in 'hundi' business should not be considered as "unprecedented", it is quite natural because of its easy availability and accesses to investors", he added. In the open market operations the US dollar posted a gain of Rs. 1.50 paisa as the dollar which had closed at Rs. 82 for buying and Rs. 82.50 for selling on Wednesday changed hands at Rs. 83.50 for buying and Rs. 84.00 for selling respectively on Thursday. "For immediate recovery of the market, sufficient supply of dollars is needed. In case SBP supplies dollars in the market as it did last week, the current price of dollar should come down. Otherwise, it is hard to expect any major recovery if the current buying trend persists on Friday", said S. Nabeel Iqbal, Head of Research & Currency Analyst at KKI Forex. "Demand continued to outperform supply on Thursday and rupee suffered from losses for the third consecutive day. The buyers continued to demand dollars and there was a persistent rush to buy the greenback", he said. "The confidence of the people got shattered especially after rumors of banking systems' collapse, freezing of foreign exchange accounts and lockers severely arrested the market which, gave rise to intense buying against Pak rupee which by any means is not in the favor of the economy. Soon after such rumors, the general public got panic and the buying became uncontrolled up to some extent, he opined. In the interbank dealings the rupee lost Rs. 1.30 paisa the other day as the dollar edged up to Rs 82 due to intense buying pressures and for the fourth consecutive day, rupee vanished grounds and traded under severe demand pressure from oil companies and importers while the lower supply of greenback resulted rupee falling to a new low by touching a barrier of 82 for the first time in its history of trading. "If the same supply position prevails, rupee will find itself under pressure in the coming sessions too. It will only get better if SBP supplies some more dollars to the banks to meet their demands as it did last week. However, keeping in mind the existing pressure on reserves, it does not seem possible for SBP to keep on flooding market with dollars. If done so, the market would certainly recover but again for a short term. Technically, an increase in dollar's price in the inter bank means an increased price in the open market as well", said market sources. "The physical shortage of dollars continued to stand as the key factor responsible for rupee's fall in the open market. There is more buying than selling which is not bringing equilibrium in the market and hence, rupee is falling victim in the form of touching new lows every day. Other than genuine buying needs, people are trying to buy dollars just for the sake of keeping their money safe as against putting it in Pak rupee which is in addition to the genuine demand of the customers. This additional demand pressure is becoming difficult to manage and is continuously hurting the exchange rate, he warned.   He said that unnecessary buying of foreign currencies should be avoided and people should understand that it is a time when such buying of foreign currencies will only add to the problems of the economy. It should be strictly avoided and confidence on national currency should not be lost rather should be restored. Public/individuals who are buying dollars with an opinion that it is safe to keep money in it rather than in Pak rupee should also understand that the US dollar itself is losing its shine globally due to the severe financial crisis in the US which has spread to all developed countries of the world. Further the economic system needs foreign exchange which are already under pressure. "The market sentiments are getting better slowly and gradually on account of diplomatic moves being taken by the government in the form of visits to China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran and ongoing negotiations with international donor agencies including ADB, World Bank and IMF. The signing of MOUs with China is a clear sign that Pakistan is not alone and things will prove in the short term as well. Further, we are expecting some financial assistance from different sources which certainly would help to support rupee in the future", he analyzed.