Sudan announced a raft of emergency measures on Monday aimed at reducing the outflow of foreign currency from its banking system and stabilizing its pound currency after it weakened sharply in recent weeks amid a shortage of dollars.
As part of the new measures, state companies will temporarily be unable to request hard currency and a ceiling will be placed on foreign currency transfers, Finance Minister Mohamed Othman Rukabi said on Monday.
Rukabi met with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, central bank governor and other senior officials on Monday to discuss the Sudanese pound amid high demand for foreign currency following the US decision last month to lift two-decade-old trade sanctions.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported traders as saying that Sudan’s currency strengthened on the black market on Monday to 24 pounds to the US dollar from 27 pounds last week, driven by government measures to stabilize the exchange rate.
The central bank holds the official exchange rate at 6.7 pounds to the dollar, but in recent weeks the currency has rapidly dropped to record lows.
The Minister of State for Finance, Magdi Hassan Yassin, told Reuters last week the country was taking steps to close the gap between its official and unofficial currency rates and scrap subsidies by end-2019 to win foreign investment.
The cheap pound has contributed to surging inflation, which reached 35.13 percent in September year-on-year, up from 34.61 percent in August, according to the Central Statistics Office.