Interbank rate drives huge forex inflows

By Rungano Dzikira

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has revealed that the introduction of the interbank rate exchange has since led to about a billion United States dollars in their coffers.

Speaking during a joint induction meeting between the RBZ Board and Monetary Policy Committee, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube said that the interbank rate was yielding desired results as the central bank was cashing in on foreign currency onto the formal market.

“We formalised trading foreign currency by introducing inter-bank foreign exchange market and licencing of bureaux de change in February. It has since managed to address the foreign currency grid-lock which had arisen from widening parallel market activities by harnessing foreign exchange through the formal market.

“As a result, about US$ 800 million worth of foreign currency has been traded on the interbank market since February, hence there is need to keep abreast with parallel market rates so that the parallel market exchange rate converge with the interbank rate,” said Ncube.

He also emphasized the need for unity of purpose between involved stakeholders towards the realization of a common national cause and upward review of the Bank rate, which is expected to continue curtailing speculative borrowing to purchase foreign currency on the foreign exchange market.

Zimbabwe’s foreign currency receipts have been generally high with the country receiving more than US$6,3 billion in foreign currency inflows last year compared to US$5,5 billion received during the same period in 2017, representing a 13,9% increase. The major challenge, however, had been channelling the forex onto the formal economy, a challenge the central bank says is slowly managing to arrest.