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US dollar losing ground to Sudanese pound on black market

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May 2, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The price of the US dollar dropped sharply on the black market in Khartoum on Thursday, settling at 8.80 Sudanese pounds (SDG) after reaching a high of 9.50 (SDG) over the past two weeks.

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A worker counts US dollar bills inside a money changer in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum (Photo: Reuters)

The decline followed an announcement by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) that it would infuse additional amounts of foreign currencies into the commercial banks in order to meet demand of the small importers and merchants.

The CBoS director of foreign exchange, Bashir Ahmed Mohamed, announced last Tuesday that they would supply banks with hard currencies in order to meet the needs of the small importers.

A trader in the black market, who preferred to stay anonymous, said the dollar price decreased after the CBoS supplied commercial banks with foreign currencies, pointing that Forex companies were allowed to sell the dollar at 8.60 (SDG) in order to meet demand of those travelling abroad for tourism and medical treatment.

The same trader said that travelers abroad are given limited amounts of dollars ranging between $1,000 to $5,000 , predicting the value of the dollar will drop more if the CBoS continues to supply banks with additional amounts of foreign exchange.

The National Intelligence Security Services’ (NISS) department of economic security carried out a large arrest campaign against traders in the black market following the significant increase of the dollar price in the past days.

The official CBoS dollar price on Thursday was 5.7075 (SDG) making the higher price range 5.9358 (SDG) and the lower range 5.4792 (SDG).

Sudan’s economy was hit hard since the southern part of the country declared independence in July 2011, taking with it about 75% of the country’s oil output.

The Sudanese pound has lost 100% of its value since South Sudan’s secession, pushing inflation rates to record levels given that the East African nation imports most of its food.

(ST)

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