Saudi Riyal

Sudan security rounds up black market currency traders in fresh crackdown

February 24, 2013 (KHARTOUM) –Sudanese authorities on Sunday detained more than ten alleged black market currency traders in a fresh bid to halt the nosedive of the country’s pound against the United States dollar and other major currencies.

JPEG - 26.5 kbFILE – A man counts notes after receiving the new Sudanese currency at a central bank branch in Khartoum July 24, 2011 (REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

The arrests were carried out by a team from the economic division at the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) who swept through downtown Khartoum and surrounding neighborhoods.

As a result, downtown Khartoum appeared emptied from currency traders who normally filled its streets amid big shortage in hard currency.

“The operation has resulted in curbing the dollar prices which stood at 7 pounds because the continuation of the parallel market would have drove the dollar to 10 pounds in a short period of time” a trader told Sudan Tribune on condition of anonymity.

Today the dollar was selling for 7.7 pounds while the Saudi Riyal traded at 1.8 pounds.
The official rate stands at around 4.4 to the dollar.

Khartoum is under pressure to preserve the eroding value of its currency in the wake of the secession of the oil-rich South Sudan in July 2011.

Oil was not only the main source for state revenues but also for dollars needed to fund imports.

Because banks and Forex bureaus are unable to supply enough dollars, the black market rate is seen as the benchmark for the real market value of the pound.

Late last year Sudanese authorities started rounding up currency traders after the central bank announced that it will prosecute anyone dealing in the black market.

(ST)

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45645

No end in sight to Sudan’s currency woes

December 12, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese pound continued sliding further against the U.S. dollar as traders in the black market saw no signs that the persistent shortage in foreign currency will ease anytime soon.

JPEG - 51 kbFILE – A Sudanese man shows off the new currency in front of Central Bank of Sudan, in the capital Khartoum on August 27, 2011, several weeks after Sudan launched the new Sudanese pound (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

A deal signed between Sudan and South Sudan last September that would give Khartoum a cut of every oil barrel exported through the north’ s pipelines, is now facing hurdles over security prerequisites that the Sudanese government insists must be concluded first.

South Sudan was scheduled to resume oil production on Nov. 15 with the first exports to hit markets by January. It was hoped that the restart would provide Sudan with a stable source of hard currency it desperately needs since oil-rich South Sudan seceded last year taking with it 75% of the country’s 450,000-barrel-per-day output.

Sudanese authorities were faced with the dilemma of providing hard currency needed for paying food imports or supporting the local currency against other currencies in a flourishing black market.

The new Sudanese pound rolled out in July of last year was initially set at an official exchange rate of 2.7 to the dollar before the government devalued it to 4.4.

Today the dollar reached 6.8 pounds in the black market compared with 6.5 earlier this month. Other currencies such as the widely traded Saudi Riyal also traded higher against the pound.

The Central Bank now appears virtually helpless in containing the deteriorating exchange rate given its low level of foreign exchange reserves it holds.

Sudan has been seeking cash infusions from Arab countries but was met with little success. A series of announcements made this year including one last November by the central bank that it has received “large” Forex deposits from abroad have done little to impact the exchange rate.

Some observers accuse the government of deliberately feeding false news on Forex receipts in a bid to scare the black market into selling its Forex holdings to ease pressure on the local currency.

Last May a senior CBoS official told Sudan Tribune that he had no knowledge of a government disclosure that a cash transfer was made to Khartoum by a neighboring country.

(ST)

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article44843

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