Sudan to unify exchange rate after black market slip for pound

Sudan to unify exchange rate after black market slip for pound
2 min read
The official rate has been around 444 pounds to the dollar, while on the black market one dollar cost about 550 pounds on Sunday.
The Sudanese pound is worth less on the black market than its official value [YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images-file photo]

Sudan's authorities have decided to unify the exchange rate of the Sudanese pound, the acting minister of information said on Sunday, weeks after the currency's value began to slip again on the black market.

A statement on the decision by Higher Committee for Economic Emergency carried no details on the timing of the step or the level at which the exchange rate would be unified.

The official rate has been around 444 pounds to the dollar, while on the black market one dollar cost about 550 pounds on Sunday.

Sudan devalued the currency a year ago as part of a series of reforms carried out by a civilian transitional government under supervision from the International Monetary Fund.

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The "managed float" of the currency stabilised the exchange rate for months, but the economy has come under renewed pressure since the army toppled the government in a coup in October, and international lenders suspended much assistance.

Sudan's leadership has said it will rely on internal resources including gold to fund this year's budget, though analysts say it appears impossible for the state to meet public expenditure commitments without printing money.

Sunday's statement said a special court would be set up to try "saboteurs" responsible for tax evasion, manipulating the exchange rate, and gold smuggling.

Surveillance would be established over all gold mines and companies across the country to crack down on smuggling, and more than 40 gold smugglers and currency dealers had been arrested, said a separate statement from Sudan's ruling council.

(Reuters)