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Sudanese Pound hits new low as US Dollar and gold prices soar

March 5 - 2020 KHARTOUM

Economic analysts attribute the unprecedented rise in the price of the US Dollar and gold that occurred on Tuesday to widely spread rumours about changing the currency. The Goldsmiths and Gold Traders and Miners Committee attributes the rise of the gold prices to the monopoly by the El Fakhir Company, and calls for a strike.

On Tuesday, the Sudanese Pound hit new record lows against the greenback at SDG 117, representing an increase of SDG 8 in one day, while the price of a gram of gold rose from SDG 4,820 to SDG 5,260 within 24 hours.

This reportedly caused the escalation in foreign exchange rates in the parallel market and complete paralysis in Khartoum commerce and state markets.

Economic analyst Kamal Karar told Dabanga Radio that members of the public and merchants began to transfer their savings to US Dollar and gold after the spread of rumours about changing the currency.

He warned of the dire consequences of the policies agreed between the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) to allow companies to pay the proceeds of exports in advance, indicating that companies buy US Dollars from the parallel market, leading to an unprecedented rise.

‘Encourages speculation’

He said that the current policies will raise the inflation rates even further and encourage speculation in the US Dollar and gold.

“The banking system is still occupied by employees of the former regime,” he explained. “The CBoS is not under the control of the civilian government. Large amounts of money are being leaked from the banking system to speculate in currencies.”

Karar expressed his hope that the economic conference to be held at the end of March will correct the path, and set alternative national economic policies according to new visions and concepts.

He expected the conference to come out with recommendations to make use of the economic potential of the country in a way that secures the advancement of agriculture and industry, and not relying on loans, grants or the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He said that the economic sector should implement the results of the economic conference. “As for now, the policies of the 2020 budget are not different from the policies the defunct regime applied since 2012, which relied on loans, grants, floating currency and raising prices of basic commodities under the pretext of lifting subsidies.

Deputy Chairman of the Goldsmiths and Gold Traders Committee, Khaled Tabidi, attributed the increase to the entry of El Fakhir Company into the market, monopolising the market with large amounts of cash and the purchase of gold at unreasonable prices.

The Goldsmiths and Gold Traders and Miners Committee called-out a strike at the Gold Building and the gold markets in the country coming Saturday in protest against the failure to implement its demands to liberalise the gold market from the CBoS and take measures to lift the control on the gold market by any government agency or companies affiliated to it.

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