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Zimbabwe’s central bank said it has “no reason or appetite to raid” foreign-exchange accounts and denied allegations of a bank run and the raiding of US dollars made by the country’s largest industry lobby group.
In a position paper released on Friday, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries urged the central bank to discontinue its weekly foreign currency auctions and emphasised the growing use of the Zimbabwean dollar.
The lobbying group also mentioned “raiding” of foreign currency accounts. “The impressions depicted therein are unfortunate and uncalled for, as they have the potential of destabilising financial markets and the country’s economic stability,” said John Mangudya, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, in an emailed statement late Saturday.
The central bank will not suspend the weekly foreign currency auction, as requested by the lobby group, because it will cause a shortage of goods and increase inflation, according to Mangudya.
“Because the government and the bank will pursue an orderly de-dollarization process, the claim that a mono-currency system is now in place is false,” he said.
According to ZimPriceCheck.com, a website that tracks both official and unofficial market rates, the official exchange rate of $155.14 Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar lags behind the parallel market exchange rate of Z$360 per US dollar. In its quarterly economic brief issued on Friday, Old Mutual’s Zimbabwe unit stated that dollarization is unavoidable because the official exchange rate is being sidelined in favour of the growing and divergent parallel market rates.