CASH premiums for United States dollar on electronic transfers have increased to 65% from 40%, ending the optimism the new government has been enjoying since the inauguration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
According to cash dealers, who spoke to NewsDay yesterday, the cash premium for US dollars using bond notes also rose to 30% from a 2017 low of 10%.
“The cash premium for United States dollars using bond notes, cash to cash is now 30%. Bank or mobile money transfer for the United States dollar is 65% and 35% for bond notes,” a cash dealer, who operates close to Harare’s Roadport, said.
The cash premiums rose over the past few days and this comes as the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has largely been dipping on a day-by-day basis since the military takeover on November 15, 2017, as investors continue to remain sceptical of Mnangagwa’s government.
Cash premiums on the US dollars using bond notes and bank or mobile money transfers began to fall in the days after the military takeover.
The fall was from a high of 45% and 90% when using bond notes and bank or mobile money transfers, respectively, on the day of the military intervention.
The hike in cash premiums comes even with the austerity measures and the rejigging of the indigenisation policy, limiting it to only diamonds and platinum as announced by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in the 2018 National
Financial expert, Persistence Gwanyanya said while the changes on the political front were important for the restoration of confidence, the fundamentals were still not in place to improve the cash situation.
“The cash situation remains unchanged and has not yet improved,” he said.
“Importers are still failing to find foreign currency to import their stuff and, as a result, they are going into the black market, resulting in the premiums being pushed up. This is what is happening.
“We expect that rate to continue to go up, as companies start opening in the coming weeks. As long as there is no injection of foreign currency into the economy, nothing will stop the rate from increasing.”