Gulf NRIs take loans to cash in on rupee fall

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DUBAI: Indian expatriates in Oman and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have started taking personal loans in a bid to take advantage of a record fall in the value of Indian rupee against local currencies, a report said.

Money exchangers and bankers in Muscat said that NRIs have started resorting to personal loans as rupee touched an all-time low of 62.03 against the US dollar on Friday, Times of Oman reported.

Exchange houses in Oman are offered Rs 160 for an Omani riyal on Friday. The rate continued for three days as foreign exchange market is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

“Indian expatriates started taking personal loan for remitting money back home,” said Rajeev V G, general manager of Global Money Exchange, which is managed by the State Bank of Travancore.

“We have witnessed a substantial increase in remittance and high volume transactions, which is a clear indication that expatriates are taking loan for arranging funds for remitting money,” another exchange official said, adding that there has been a 10-15% growth in remittance on Friday over the previous day. Since rupee’s value crossed the Rs 154-155 level against the dollar, NRIs in Oman started remitting their savings. The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has also started taking measures to find out the sources of funds for foreign remittance.

Those who remit above 2,000 Omani riyals will have to produce proof showing that the money was withdrawn from their own bank account. Earlier, this was required only for amounts above 5,000 riyals.

The country has recently made it mandatory to credit employee salary only through a bank so that there is a check on sources of income.

Money exchanges in Oman also submit a report with details of different ranges of remittance transactions to various countries on a monthly basis to the CBO.

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