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Zimbabwe’s Currency Dips Over 40% on Black Market as Demand for Foreign Exchange Surges

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zimbabwe currency

Zimbabwe’s embattled currency has taken a hit, plunging by over 40% on the black market as the demand for foreign exchange continues to outpace the available supply.

A complex array of factors, including the conclusion of tobacco sales and a softening trend in global commodity prices, has significantly impacted the inflow of local dollars into the Southern African nation.

Persistence Gwanyanya, a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, highlighted that Zimbabwe, rich in minerals, relies heavily on mining for 85% of its foreign exchange.

Speaking in an interview on Monday, Gwanyanya acknowledged the ongoing challenges, stating, “Even this quarter, our situation will not have got to normal. We will need to manage the demand side, that is deal with the demand for forex and judiciously allocate resources.”

Zimbabwe has grappled with the stabilization of its currency since its reintroduction in 2019, leading citizens to favor the US dollar for various transactions, from purchasing goods to acquiring medicines.

Treasury interventions in June aimed at enforcing local currency tax payments provided a temporary respite by stabilizing the volatile exchange rate.

As of Monday, the local unit was trading at Z$10,900 per US dollar on the black market, as reported by ZimPriceCheck.com, a platform monitoring official and unofficial exchange rates.

This stands significantly lower than the official exchange rate of Z$6,467 per US dollar.

The central bank’s weekly auction, the official source of US dollars for companies, closed in December for the holiday season.

The recent depreciation has disrupted the equilibrium, with the gap between official and unofficial markets surpassing the 10% to 20% range set by authorities.

Gwanyanya stressed the need to re-establish this equilibrium, emphasizing the complex task ahead for Zimbabwe’s economic management.

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Naira

Naira Hits Eight-Month High at 1,120/$ Amidst Central Bank Reforms

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New Naira Notes

The Nigerian Naira has surged to an eight-month high of 1,120 against the US dollar on the parallel market, commonly referred to as the black market.

This significant appreciation comes on the heels of a series of foreign exchange (FX) reforms initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which have effectively unlocked dollar liquidity within the economy.

According to data compiled from online platforms and street traders, the current exchange rate reflects a gain of 62.95% for the Naira against the dollar compared to its level of 1,825 per dollar in February 2024.

Market sentiment suggests that the recent strengthening of the Naira can be attributed to a subdued demand for the US dollar, coupled with ample liquidity in the market, particularly during the holiday period.

Despite a decline in external reserves, Nigeria’s currency strengthened to 1,230.61 per dollar on the official FX market before the holidays.

The recent uptick in the Naira’s value follows the CBN’s decision to review the exchange rate for Bureau De Change (BDC) Operators to 1,101 per dollar from 1,251 per dollar.

Also, the CBN announced plans to sell $15.88 million to 1,588 eligible BDCs, further bolstering dollar liquidity in the market.

The CBN’s proactive approach to FX management, including the resolution of foreign exchange backlogs amounting to US$7 billion, has instilled confidence among investors and market participants.

Furthermore, the apex bank’s commitment to implementing reforms aimed at enhancing transparency and efficiency in the FX market has yielded positive results.

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Forex

Zimbabwe’s Gold-Backed Currency Surges 0.2% Against US Dollar

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Zimbabwe’s newly introduced gold-backed currency, known as ZiG, surged by 0.2% against the US dollar on its second day of trading.

This development has sparked both cautious optimism and renewed concerns about the nation’s financial stability.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe reported that the exchange rate for ZiG strengthened to 13.53 per US dollar, compared to its initial rate of 13.56 per dollar on its debut trading day.

The slight but significant uptick in value comes as a welcome sign for Zimbabwean authorities who have been striving to establish a functional local currency amid persistent economic challenges.

The ZiG currency, introduced as the country’s sixth attempt to stabilize its monetary system, is backed by 2,522 kilograms of gold and approximately $100 million in foreign currency reserves held by the central bank.

This gold backing is seen as a crucial step to restore confidence in Zimbabwe’s currency after years of hyperinflation and currency instability.

Despite the positive momentum witnessed in the currency market, the transition to ZiG has not been without its hurdles. Banks, retailers, and utilities across the nation have been grappling with the logistical challenges of adopting the new currency, leading to disruptions in commerce nationwide.

Many businesses are still in the process of updating their systems to accommodate ZiG transactions, causing delays and confusion in payment processing.

The Zimbabwean government has set a deadline of April 12 for businesses to fully transition their electronic systems to ZiG.

However, reports indicate that only a third of the financial institutions linked to the national payments platform have been able to process ZiG payments effectively, highlighting the ongoing challenges facing the currency transition.

While the surge in ZiG’s value against the US dollar offers a glimmer of hope for Zimbabwe’s economic prospects, experts caution that sustained stability will depend on factors beyond short-term fluctuations.

Market confidence, effective monetary policies, and structural reforms will all play crucial roles in determining the long-term viability of the ZiG currency and the broader economic recovery efforts in Zimbabwe.

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Naira

Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, April 9th, 2024

As of April 9th, 2024, the exchange rate for the US dollar to the Nigerian Naira stands at 1 USD to 1,200 NGN in the black market, also referred to as the parallel market or Aboki fx.

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New Naira notes

As of April 9th, 2024, the exchange rate for the US dollar to the Nigerian Naira stands at 1 USD to 1,200 NGN in the black market, also referred to as the parallel market or Aboki fx.

For those engaging in currency transactions in the Lagos Parallel Market (Black Market), buyers purchase a dollar for N1,240 and sell it at N1,230 on Monday, April 9th, 2024 based on information from Bureau De Change (BDC).

Meaning, the Naira exchange rate improved when compared to today’s rate below.

This black market rate signifies the value at which individuals can trade their dollars for Naira outside the official or regulated exchange channels.

Investors and participants closely monitor these parallel market rates for a more immediate reflection of currency dynamics.

How Much is Dollar to Naira Today in the Black Market?

Kindly be aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not acknowledge the existence of the parallel market, commonly referred to as the black market.

The CBN has advised individuals seeking to participate in Forex transactions to utilize official banking channels.

Black Market Dollar to Naira Exchange Rate

  • Buying Rate: N1,200
  • Selling Rate: N1,190

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