Home | News    Tuesday 17 May 2011

S. Sudan indefinitely suspends registration of forex bureaus

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May 16, 2011 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s government has indefinitely suspended the registration of forex bureaus intending to operate in the region, less than two months before the country’s independence declaration.

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Traders jostle to change money in South Sudan (Reuters)

In a strongly worded notice sent to the Bank of South Sudan (BoSS), all licensed advocates and the general public, the ministry instructs all stakeholders to strictly adhere to the ministerial order, until further notice. No reason was, however, given for halting the registration exercise.

“..We hereby inform all the stakeholders, public that the registration of forex bureaus is suspended as per the said ministerial order until further notice,” party reads the 13 May notice signed by the ministry’s chief registrar, Peter Gatkouth Kor.

Abraham Ajak, a local money changer operating in Juba, the South Sudan capital, lauded the ministry’s decision to suspend the registration of forex entities, saying his business had failed to prosper due to their existence.

Currently, there are about 25 legally registered forex bureaus in fully operational in Juba, with many of them trading in the local Sudanese pounds. The southern bank, according to a Sudan Tribune survey, strictly limits transfer of large money sums outside the region through these forex bureaus.

“We are not allowed to do transactions involving money that exceeds $100 [SDG 350]. It’s a new directive from the Bank of Southern Sudan and we have to comply,” said Mohamed Ali, an employee in one of the leading forex bureaus.

He added, “Any of our clients who intend to transfer more than $100 will have to seek written permission from southern bank before we can make such transactions possible. It’s a new policy here.”

In July last year, the bank closed down nine forex bureaus operating in Juba, the South Sudan capital, citing what it called "illegal" operations contrary to the policies of the country’s central bank.

Some bank workers in South Sudan, who wish to remain anonymous, alledge that the closure of these forex bureaus, mainly operated by Somali nationals, is a response to the increased terror risks, in the wake of the July 11 bomb attacks in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Over 70 people were killed in the incident, which was reportedly carried out by Al-Shabab militants.

Al-Shabab is a terrorist organisation opposed to the activities of aid organisations and the current government in Somalia. It is reported to have declared war against the UN and Western NGOs.

Formed in 2005 after South Sudan gained a high degree of autonomy in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), BoSS licenses financial institutions operating in the region. It also regulates commercial banks in accordance with the rules and policies of the Central Bank of Sudan.

The south runs a western style banking system as opposed the Islamic banking system that operates in the north. As part of the CPA, the South voted to become independent in January and will secede in July, making BOSS a national central bank.

Islamic banking does not allow for profit to be made by lending or borrowing money, but only in trading.

(ST)

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  • 17 May 2011 07:02, by Ahmed Chol

    Government must learn how to regulate the economy, otherwise there will be a very bad inflation. Very soon, it will be 10 POUNDs per a $1(USD).

    Ahmed Chol, whatever begins in anger, ends in shame

    repondre message

    • 17 May 2011 07:17, by Mr. Truthteller

      Too late you Peter Gatkuoth. Hundreds of forex bureaus have already been registered by the so-called Bank of South Sudan (BoSS) sponsoring them. These forex are owned by the big men working in BOSS. This is why you cannot find hard currency (dollars) in the BOSS while they are being exchanged along the roads in Juba. They give hundreds of thousands of these forex bureaus they sponsor to sell the dollars on their behalf at a very high rate, leaving the bank without the badly needed hard currency for government transactions outside the country. This is one of the worst corruption exercised by the Bank governor Elijah Malok Aluong and his kins in the Bank. As usual the GOSS is keeping dumb about it and crying foul as usual. Stopping the registration of more forex bureaus is just giving the monopoly to the already sponsored forex bureaus by the Bank officials. Pathetic indeed.

      repondre message

      • 17 May 2011 07:58, by dinkador1

        That is right,why to exchange money on roads one tribe,without our government can take any action.This DINKA tribe only who are doing this,no other tribes exchanging money on roads or giving feck currency to people without being arrest by the government.
        Now that is good, to suspend those who does not register at custom road since the same groups are killing people at night in juba for money.
        Thanks for the person who wrote this.

        repondre message

  • 17 May 2011 09:18, by Nhomlawda

    Road side money changers exist everywhere in East Africa not even in a poorly organized economy like South Sudan. Road side money changers are convenient for travelers, they work in busy places and beyond official working hours and anytime foreigners and travelers can get local currency. They make life of foreigners and travelers convenient in a foreign country.
    It is also a source of employment for those boys. As long as they have their customers and they are not cheating them, I have no problem with their business. It is part of the competition, they make official forex bureaus to sell money at reasonable prices, otherwise foreign currencies prices will go crazy without those innocent boys on the street selling their money.

    repondre message

    • 17 May 2011 13:04, by Mr. Truthteller

      Nhomlawda,

      Unless you do not understand how things work in money world in South Sudan, those street dollar exchangers are the cause for skyrocketing exchange rates. They deny the commercial banks the fixed dollar exchange rates together with the so-called forex bureaus. They belong to Elijah Malok Aluong.

      repondre message

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