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Sudan plans to reform banking sector to cope with transitional reforms

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November 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Finance and Economic Planning Minister Ibrahim al-Badawi on Saturday said plans to reform the banking sector and rehabilitate it to support economic reforms in the country during the transitional period.

Ibrahim al-Badawi speaks at press conference in Khartoum on 31 October 2019 (ST photo)

Addressing an event organized by the Sudanese Banks Union on the banking sector and the economic reform for the transitional period, Badawi stressed on the need to conduct a deep analysis to address the current situation and the macroeconomic situation in the country.

He also announced that the government’s transitional program based on harmonizing the role of the banking sector with the national economic plan to move the country from the current crisis to a comprehensive development including the economic infrastructures.

The minister further called for a dialogue on the best ways to reform the banking sector, noting that the reform may require the integration of some banks if necessary and identify the risks.

Sudanese new government is aware of the need to reduce financial fragility and systemic risks in the financial markets. Officials point to the setting if new rules but stress on changing the behaviour and ending corruption by the former regime.

Economists call for reforms in three areas: enhancing financial market transparency, improving the financial architecture, and strengthening financial systems.

Al-Badawi reiterated his previous position against the immediate floating of the Sudanese pound saying any liberalization of the exchange rate will have a profound effect on the banking sector.

Last September, the minister said he would float the pound in the middle of next year after the success of the announced 200-day plan.

The minister has recently been criticized for proposing a series of reforms that requiring support from international financial institutions which is impossible for the time due to U.S. sanctions on Sudan as the country remains under the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The Sudanese pound had been officially pegged at 45 to the dollar. However, due to the shortage of hard currency in the country, the pound is rated in the parallel market at 82 to the dollar.

(ST)

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