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Commerce hesitant, Sudanese Pound under pressure

April 19 - 2019 KHARTOUM

The uncertainty and flux resulting from the transfer of power in Sudan is impacting on commerce in the country, and is putting the Sudanese Pound (SDG), which rallied slightly from all-time lows of SDG 90 to the US Dollar in mid-March, under pressure.

The greenback was being traded at SDG 50 in the parallel market on the streets of Khartoum yesterday. Traders tell Radio Dabanga that people are postponing purchases, and they are expecting the Dollar to fall more because of the disappearance of the biggest traders known as “fat cats”.

They also cite the decision by the Transitional Military Council to freeze all assets of government companies and institutions of the former regime as a fact or in the slow-down of commerce.

Cash shortage

Radio Dabanga has been reporting for months that banks across Sudan have limited cash withdrawals.

The printing of new currency denominations of SDG 100, SDG 200, and SDG 500 by the Central Bank of Sudan has been necessitated by hyperinflation, coupled with a chronic shortage of hard cash. Banks have limited cash withdrawals so traders and the public prefer to keep their cash at home, rather than deposit it into banks.

Over the past few months, as the value of the Sudanese Pound has dropped steadily against the US Dollar. In December 2018, 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*) a month.

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