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Sudanese Pound slumps further against international currencies

February 18 - 2019 KHARTOUM

The Sudanese Pound (SDG) has maintained its downward slide against hard foreign currencies as hyperinflation and cash shortages continue to plague the country’s economy.

Yesterday, the US Dollar was again trading at SDG 70 on the streets of Khartoum – a rate last seen in December 2018 – while the official price set by the government-appointed  Market Makers Mechanism remains at SDG 47.5.

Currency traders in Khartoum said the Euro rate reached SDG 77 while the Saudi Riyal costs SDG 18.20, the UAE Dirham SDG 20.50, and the Qatari Riyal SDG 18.40. The British Pound Sterling now costs SDG 88.

Liquidity crisis

The printing of new currency, including 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.

In an op-ed written for Radio Dabanga, Salah Shuaib, explained: “The deteriorating economic situation, which is the well-seen factor of the crisis, threatens the stability of the country - in the absence of practical government solutions to the escalating rise in prices, the rise of the inflation rate, the official government devaluation of the Sudanese Pound, the reduction in cash withdrawals, and the disruption of all productive projects of the state and the private sector.”

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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