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Sudan’s currency traders fearful as US Dollar tops SDG 26.20

December 17 - 2017 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

The value of the Sudanese Pound (SDG) continues to fall against the US Dollar, with the greenback now trading at SDG 26.20 on the Khartoum parallel market.

Foreign currency dealers said there is great fear when dealing directly with their customers after the penalties and security measures adopted by the authorities in November, in an attempt to stem the unofficial foreign exchange market.

The measures have seen currency dealers being arrested, while others fled abroad. Early this month, the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) ordered banks to freeze the assets of dozens of Sudanese people and companies. The State Security Prosecution charged them for trading currencies, against the instructions of the CBoS. In an attempt to boost foreign currency reserves, the CBoS has also instructed all banks in Sudan to hand over remittances by Sudanese expatriates abroad in the same currency as the transfer.

The moves against the traders have been widely ridiculed by economists and opposition voices. The current downward spiral of the Sudanese Pound (SDG) against hard currencies is exacerbated by a shortage of hard currency in the country.

According to the order all the money of the accused has to be seized, in addition to the suspension and freezing of all their transactions in foreign currency in all banks operating in Sudan.

Dr Sabir Mohammed El Hassan, the former director of the Central Bank of Sudan, said in an interview with Elaf newspaper that the recent measures taken by the government to face the collapse of the Pound are not an effective solution. He stressed the need for a real reform in economic policies. He predicted that the crisis will return again if not resolved.

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