Sudan’s central bank said on Sunday it had allocated $50 million in its third foreign exchange auction, and traders said the new policy appeared to narrow the gap between official and black market rates, which has widened in recent weeks.
Sudan devalued its currency sharply last February. The aim of the auctions is to implement a “flexible managed” exchange rate policy by supplying dollars to importers via the country’s commercial banks for the first time in years. Read also On the anniversary of the Sudanese revolution, why did the economic situation deteriorate further?How do the Sudanese face the crushing wave of high prices in Ramadan?Sudan is preparing for an investment conference in Paris with vital projects.. Are there promising prospects?The International Monetary Fund approves a financing plan to ease Sudan’s debt burden
A transitional government is trying to pull the country out of a deep economic crisis and is pushing through tough reforms monitored by the International Monetary Fund in the hope of getting debt relief and new financing.
Dealers said that the dollar recorded 450 Sudanese pounds on the black market on Sunday, and fell to 445 after the auction results were announced.
The price fell from 470 pounds at the time of the second auction last week, while the official price on Sunday reached 426 pounds.
Dealers told Reuters that the black market was shaken by the second and third auctions, after there was no certainty in the past whether the government would be able to pump dollars into the market.
Dealers reported that the increase in the types of goods covered by the auction also reduced the size of the advantage enjoyed by the black market. “It’s not a deep market,” said a senior finance ministry official.
“If there are transactions worth 30 or 40 million dollars that are not on the approved list, and therefore the trend to the parallel market, this may contribute to a gap,” he added, adding that the auctions also provide transparent information about transactions in the market, where rumors are influential.
Traders said that the security forces launched a campaign, and the official Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) reported on Thursday that 9 “saboteurs of the national economy” were arrested.
The Central Bank indicated that a fourth weekly auction is scheduled for next Sunday.