Exchange Rate Falls Further

Khartoum – The rate of exchange of the dollar against the Sudanese pound fell to less than SDG 4.2 in the parallel market and the fall is expected to continue, according to experts.

Sudan Vision toured Exchange Bureaus in Khartoum and spoke to economists and civilians on the rise and fall of the rate of exchange. 

The Secretary General of the Union Bureaus of Exchange attributed the rise of the rate of exchange of the dollar to speculation. He said the fall of the dollar against the Sudanese pound is caused by the stability of the economic situation, calling on the Central Bank to import agricultural and industrial input to combat speculation in the rate of the Dollar.

The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank announced new policies for transfer of hard currency for medical and education purposes.

Based on the new policy, hard currency should be transferred to the Sudanese Embassy in the country where the person is seeking medical or educational services.

Secretary General of the Union of Exchangers, Jaffar Abdo Haj, attributed the rise to the loss of oil revenues and the rush to convert national currency to dollar, saying the rise is unjustified and expected it to reach its lowest very soon. He said exchange bureaus get $100,000 to $150,000 every day from the Central Bank which is sufficient to meet requirements for traveling abroad. He denied allegations that some bureaus sell the hard currency they get from the Central Bank in the black market.

Manager of Express Exchange Bureau, Nasir Mekki, called for activation of hard currency law to stop activity in the black market. He said the black market exists only in Sudan, emphasizing the need to stop it so that the economy is not negatively affected.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a black marker dealer, however, claimed that the foreign exchange bureaus are to blame for the rise of the dollar against the Sudanese pound, saying the bureaus receive hard currency from the central bank but part of the money they receive is sold in the black market. He said they get very small profit in the parallel market and expected the exchange rate to fall.

Saeed Mohamed attributed the crisis to the absence of effective policies by the Ministry of Finance to stabilize the exchange rate, adding that the second reason is the loss of oil revenues caused by the secession of South Sudan. He said the solution lies in increasing exports, agricultural and industrial activities and adoption of tight austerity policy by the Government.

Dr. Mohamed Al-Nayer, an economist, called on the state to provide sufficient hard currency to meet the rising demand so that the exchange rate is stabilized. He attributed the rising exchange rate to the state of anxiety caused by instability of economic situation in the country, saying the state has failed to combat activity of the parallel market. 

He said the current fall of the rate of exchange is brought about by the announcement of injection of USD 2 billion by the Darfur Development Bank, funded by Qatar.

He called on the state to increase agricultural and mining production particularly gold. He also called on the state to diversify exports, try to reach a deal with South Sudan on oil and increase country’s oil production.

By Ibrahim Al-Jack, 25/02/2012