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Sudan to set daily exchange rate, cancel import restrictions -cbank governor

KHARTOUM, – Sudan will begin on Sunday using a body comprised of bankers and exchange bureaus to set its daily currency exchange rate as part of a package of measures designed to tackle an economic crisis, the central bank governor said.

Sudan is also cancelling import restrictions imposed last year on 19 selected foods and other items, central bank Governor Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir said.

The currency measures mean the Sudanese pound is likely to lose value against the dollar initially before later stabilising, Zubeir said. The new exchange body will also set purchase price of gold to counter smuggling, he said.

Sudan’s economy has been struggling since the south of the sprawling northeast African country seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of oil output and depriving Khartoum of a crucial source of foreign currency.

Worsening hard currency shortages have led to strict withdrawal limits and a booming foreign exchange black market, where dollars have been trading for a premium of about 40 percent. The official exchange rate on Thursday was around 29 pounds to the dollar.

Sudan’s inflation climbed to a record 66 percent in August, one of the highest rates globally. Though gold mining has boomed, officials say most gold is smuggled out of the country.

By Reuters

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