August 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The price of the US dollar in Sudan’s black market for hard currency jumped on Thursday to SDG 5.95 as the country’s central bank further devalued the local pound in renewed efforts to plug the gap with the unofficial trade.
- A Sudanese man counts notes after receiving the new Sudanese currency at a central bank branch in Khartoum July 24, 2011 (REUTERS Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Sudan has been struggling to narrow the gap between the official and black market rates of foreign currency exchange which has been widening since the country lost its main source of hard currency revenues due to the secession of the oil-rich South Sudan last year.
In May, the Central Bank of Sudan (CBS) allowed government-licensed Forex bureaus to determine their own rates in buying and selling currencies in an effort to curb the flourishing black market, but the situation changed little as Forex offices kept hiking their rates to match value in the unofficial trade while failing to meet demand, due to the small supply they receive from CBS.
CBS announced on Thursday that it was fixing a new exchange rate of SDG 5.65 for commercial banks and Forex bureaus alike in order to narrow the gap with the black market rate. CBS said the new rate will be followed by decreasing it to SDG 4.4 after the Eid holiday.
Sudan Tribune has learned that commercial banks have already started using the new rate but there is no information on whether Forex offices have too.
Meanwhile, the black market rate increased to SDG 5.95 after it went down last week on news of the new oil deal between Sudan and South Sudan.