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|14 October, 2018

Sudanese pound strengthens for first time since devaluation

The Sudanese pound strengthened to 46.95 to the U.S. dollar on Sunday, bankers said

A man counts notes after receiving the new Sudanese currency at a Central Bank of Sudan branch in Khartoum.

A man counts notes after receiving the new Sudanese currency at a Central Bank of Sudan branch in Khartoum.

REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM - The Sudanese pound strengthened to 46.95 to the U.S. dollar on Sunday, bankers said, in its first rise since the national currency was devalued under a new mechanism introduced last week to combat a financial crisis.

A team comprising bank executives and exchange houses designated to set the exchange rate on a daily basis kept the pound steady at 47.5 to the dollar throughout last week following the steep devaluation introduced last Sunday from the previous official rate of around 29 pounds to the dollar.

Sudan has been reeling from an acute shortage of foreign currency and an increasingly expensive black market for dollars that has sapped its ability to import and made prices soar, kindling unrest earlier this year in some parts of the country.

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Abdel Hamid Jamil, who heads the so-called exchange rate mechanism team, said the rate was determined by the indicators on that day and after consultations.

The rise on Sunday came after the central bank announced on Saturday it had been pumping cash into local banks to enable them to buy foreign currency from the public.

Central bank governor Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir said the treasury was ready to provide any amount of Sudanese pounds to local banks to buy any amount of foreign currency that may become available.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter) ((Sami.Aboudi@thomsonreuters.com; +20223948181;))