The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has increased the maximum amount companies can purchase from banks from US$20 000 to US$ 100 000 per week in a bid to liberalise the exchange rate market.
This came after companies had struggled to access United States dollars from the foreign currency auction system.
In a statement, the central bank said a meeting of its monetary policy committee (MPC) last week made the decision.
“The MPC resolved to further liberalise the foreign exchange market by increasing the maximum amount that entities can purchase from banks for bona fide foreign payments under the willing-buyer willing-seller system from the current level of US$20 000 to US$100 000 per week, per entity,” the statement read.
RBZ maintained the rate at 200% to stabilise the economy.
The rate was hiked to 200% at the end of June, from 80% as part of measures to fight inflation and stabilise the country’s currency.
The move, combined with a local currency mop up operation being executed through trade in gold coins, has been credited for cooling off a relentless market rage which hit the economy during the first half of the year.
“MPC resolved to maintain the bank policy rate and medium-term lending rate at 200% and 100%, respectively until durable stability, measured by a sustained decline in month-on-month inflation to desired levels of less than 5%, is attained,” RBZ said.
- ‘Inflation could shoot to 700% by April next year’
- New perspectives: Inflation control critical for economic growth
- Inflation spike: Why interest rates aren’t the answer
- Village Rhapsody: Govt must ensure that devolution works
It said foreign currency receipts stood at US$7,7 billion as at August 31, 2022, a 32,4% increase from US$5,8 billion recorded in the same period last year.
A total of 9 516 gold coins valued at $9 billion had been sold as at September 23, 2022, with 35% having been sold to individuals and 65% to corporates, including asset management and insurance entities.