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Sudan Central Bank Attempts to Boost Foreign Reserves
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Nov 22, 2010 - 7:32:43 AM

Sudan Central Bank Attempts to Boost Foreign Reserves

Sudan’s central bank introduced incentives to boost the country’s foreign currency reserves that include allowing banks to supply a higher exchange rate for sales of hard currency.

The bank issued the directive to “encourage and attract foreign-currency purchasing in the official market,” the bank said today in an e-mailed statement.

One U.S. dollar could buy 2.85 Sudanese pounds on the black market today, while the official exchange rate was 2.4, according to the bank’s website. Banks and exchange bureaus will pay a premium on top of the official rate, to be determined by the central bank. That percentage is currently 16.29, and it could be changed “from time to time,” the statement said.

Central Bank Governor Sabir Hassan declined Oct. 26 to disclose a figure for Sudan’s foreign currency reserves. They stood at $1.1 billion in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Sudanese economy relies on foreign investment, mostly from Persian Gulf countries, and sales of crude oil.

From today, Sudanese banks are also allowed to offer foreign-currency accounts that can be used for deposits from inside the country, abolishing a condition under which such accounts could only be approved if they relied on transfers from abroad, the bank said in the statement.

The accounts must have a starting balance of at least 5,000 euros ($6,860) and proof must be provided that there are “continuous money inflows” into them. Unlimited transfers abroad will be permitted, provided they meet the country’s legal requirements against money laundering and funding terrorism, the bank said.

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