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South Sudan to issue new 500 pounds banknote

The new 500 pounds banknote as released by the South Sudanese central bank on Friday 8 June 2018 (ST photo)
June 9, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan announced the upcoming release of a new 500-pound banknote reflecting the country’s weakening economy.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Bank of South Sudan (BoSS) said the new banknote will be introduced "soon".

The introduction of the new 500-pound banknote, which will be the highest-domination note in circulation in the country, comes as a direct result of the soaring inflation four-and half-year after the beginning of civil war.

South Sudanese now have to shop with large bundles of notes.

The South Sudan central bank said in its statement that the measure would help reduce the volume of cash people carry.

Analysts say the financial authorities have to wait for the improvement of the political situation and the signing of a peace agreement and to make it part of economic and financial measures to control the inflation and redress the national economy.

"If it issued now that would be considered as an indication that the national economy is in crisis and unstable," said a South Sudanese economic expert who preferred anonymity.

He further expressed fears that the new banknote will worsen the inflation rate

In the black market, one U.S. dollar is exchanged for 300 South Sudanese pounds.

Last May, President Salva Kiir fired the BoSS’s governor Othom Rago Ajak, blaming him for failing to rein in consumer prices that almost tripled last year.

(ST)