27th February 2021
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Sudan sharply devalues currency as it aims for debt relief

Author: Reuters | Published: Sunday, February 21, 2021

FILE PHOTO: Vehicles line up for gasoline at a gas station in Khartoum, Sudan, May 4, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

Sudan’s central bank sharply devalued the country’s currency on Sunday, announcing a new regime to “unify” official and black-market exchange rates.

The change aims to help Sudan overcome a crippling economic crisis during a fragile political transition, and access international debt relief following an International Monetary Fund monitoring programme.

The central bank set the indicative rate at 375 pounds to the dollar, several commercial banking sources said, from a previous official rate of 55 pounds. Recently, the dollar traded at between 350 and 400 Sudanese pounds on the black market.

The central bank will set a daily indicative rate in a “flexible managed float”, a circular sent to banks said. Banks and exchange bureaus are required to trade within 5% above or below that rate.

The circular also set a profit margin between buy and sell prices of no more than 0.5%.

Sunday’s move had been expected late last year under the IMF programme but was delayed by political instability.

It comes two weeks after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok appointed a new government to include rebel groups that signed a peace deal in October.

Hamdok is serving under a joint military-civilian council that took power after the overthrow of veteran autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

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