Sudanese pound strengthens on black market after Bashir's ouster -traders
(Adds businessman on Gulf aid)
By Khalid Abdelaziz
KHARTOUM, April 18 (Reuters) - The Sudanese pound
strengthened sharply on the black market on Thursday, two
traders and a businessman said, as imports dwindled amid the
political chaos that led to the overthrow last week of president
The pound firmed to 53 pounds to the dollar on the black
market from 74 pounds just before the military ousted and
detained Bashir, who ruled with an iron hand for 30 years before
unrest erupted over deteriorating conditions in the country.
The military announced Bashir's removal on April 11 after
months of protests sparked by food and cash shortages, and set
up a transitional military council to run the country for up to
two years until free elections.
"The advent of the new government caused some confusion in
the commercial field," the businessman said. "We are waiting to
know the government's new economic policies so that we can
engage in operations and import again."
One businessman said the pound may have strengthened due to
expectations of aid from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi
Both countries have pledged support for Sudan since the
military took over. Saudi Arabia said it would provide wheat,
fuel and medicine, among the country's main imports and drains
on scarce foreign currency.
The rise of the pound also comes following moves by the
ruling Transitional Military Council to curb systemic corruption
and financial mismanagement, according to state media.
In initial steps on Thursday, the TMC ordered the central
bank to review financial transfers since April 1 and to seize
"suspect" funds, the state news agency SUNA said.
It also ordered a suspension in transfers of share ownership
until further notice and any large or suspect transfers of
shares or companies to be reported to state authorities.
In a further move, the TMC decreed that all state entities
disclose financial holdings within 72 hours and warned that
officials who failed to comply could be fined and face up to 10
years in prison, SUNA said.
The official exchange rate has been set at 47.5 Sudanese
pounds to the dollar since October. The black market rate was 65
pounds on Tuesday, three traders in central Khartoum said.
Sudan has been expanding its money supply to finance a
budget deficit, causing inflation to soar and the currency to
plunge against other currencies. The protesters blame years of
mismanagement under Bashir and U.S. sanctions for the crisis.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz
Writing by Yousef Saba
Editing by Patrick Werr/Mark Heinrich/Susan Fenton)
First Published: 2019-04-18 18:59:22
Updated 2019-04-18 19:38:30
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