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Sudanese pound continues climbing as black market falters

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An employee of a money changer holds a stack of U.S. Dollar notes before giving it to a customer in Jakarta, October 8, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

July 13, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese pound continued on Tuesday to register gains against major currencies prompting panic among black market traders.

Traders who spoke to Sudan Tribune said that US dollar was sold at 450 pounds, Euro at 535 pounds, Saudi Riyal for 120 pounds and UAE Dirham for 121 pounds.

The improvement in the exchange rate reflected improved market supply relative to demand.

Sudan central bank has been regularly holding foreign currency auctions to feed commercial banks’ needs in a sign that its forex reserves are stabilizing.

The East African nation devalued its currency last February to bring it to par with the black market which was a key requirement by donors and international financial institutions.

But the move is believed to have contributed to soaring inflation rate coupled with lifting subsidies on fuel.

Khartoum has also sought to lobby regional and international banks to lift all restrictions on money transfers by Sudanese expatriates particularly after the US removed the country from the list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Furthermore, Sudan has secured the blessings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which announced last month that it has admitted Khartoum into the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

This announcement paves the way for substantial debt relief and new funds which is hoped to further improve the forex situation.

The Sudanese pound has climbed from 490 to the dollar to 440 over the last 3 weeks.

According to Dubai-based Sky News Arabia TV, small traders in the currency black market are struggling to maintain their business as trading volumes plunged.

The TV said some traders have gone as far as abandoning foreign currency business altogether.

(ST)

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