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Bank of Sudan limits cash withdrawal to address liquidity crisis

December 18 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Bank of Khartoum (file photo)
Bank of Khartoum (file photo)

The Central Bank of Sudan issued a decision to set the limit of cash withdrawals by bank cards at ATMs at SDG 20,000 ($421*) per month.

The Bank issued a statement about the decision, saying that within the framework of the cash withdrawal arrangements from ATMs, it was decided to set the monthly ceiling of the amount of cash withdrawals by bank card for SDG 20,000.

The Bank of Sudan called on all banks to make the necessary technical arrangements to implement the decision immediately.

Previously, Sudanese bank cards allowed account holders to withdraw as much as 60,000 Sudanese Pounds per month from ATMs.

The Central Bank did not clarify the reason for the cash withdrawal limit for card holders. Early December, the ongoing shortage of cash forced many ATMs in Khartoum and El Gezira states to shut down, leaving the public with too little cash to go about their daily business.

Bank employees at the time attributed the liquidity problem to the delay of the Bank of Sudan in providing cash to feed the ATMs.

SDG makes drop

The rate of inflation in Sudan rose to 68.93 per cent in November. According to statistics, the Sudanese currency has lost 80 percent of its purchasing power during this year amid a daily rise in prices, and a decrease of the Sudanese Pound against foreign currencies.

The Central Bank of Sudan has set the official daily conversion rate at SDG 47.5. The latest reports from the parallel market in Khartoum,however, indicate that the Sudanese Pound has dropped further than that: the Dollar is trading at SDG 85 for cheques, and SDG 75 for cash in the black market.

The Dollar purchase price of SDG 47.5 has been retained in commercial banks and ATMs, however, financial analyst, former banker and civil society activist Hafiz Ismail told Radio Dabanga that partial treatment as it is happening now is for no avail.

“The current government does not have the ability to find any radical solutions due to the weak infrastructure of the economy, the large balance of payments deficit, and the lack of sources of financing or external borrowing.”

* As effective foreign exchange rates can vary widely in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the Market Makers Mechanism-determined daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

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