HomeBusiness DigestVendors sell forex openly, like fruit

Vendors sell forex openly, like fruit

Conrad Dube

“ZIMDOLLAR for sale, $13 500 per South African rand, Zimdollar $13 500.” “Bananas for sale, $5 000 each.”


Sounds like f

iction?


No, these are two vendors going about their business at a fuel service station about two kilometers away from Beitbridge Border Post.


Fruit vendors carry a variety of fruits in plastic bags while currency traders carry satchels stashed with the local dollar and South African rand, Botswana pula and all the other major world currencies.


Currency exchanges hands in full view of the public. Police and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe sniffers are conspicuous by their absence.


The Zimbabwe dollar is being traded like bananas and mangos by parallel market dealers around the country.


The dealers also mill around Harare’s cross-border terminus, RoadPort.


In Gweru, they have taken over the intercity bus terminus, Kudzanayi, in the centre of the city.


The local dollar has taken a serious battering against major currencies.


Some banks last week quoted the local currency at about $95 000 to the US unit before the central bank intervened to suspend further downfall.


It traded at between $58 000 and $70 000 to the US dollar at the interbank market.


Kingdom, Jewel and Barclays banks quoted the dollar at $58 200 to the US unit.


The rand was selling at $8 655 and $8 796 at Barclays and Kingdom respectively. The pound fetched between $102 000 and $105 000 per unit.


The rates will be slightly higher for foreign currency account holders.


A dealer at Kingdom said the rate was expected to rise to about $90 000 “soon” as pressure remained on banks to raise their offers.


She said there was no mechanism used to price the rate but “it depends on the market”.


The interbank rates are, however, lower than those offered by parallel market dealers.


The greenback is fetching $86 000, the rand $14 000 while the pound is fetching as much as $140 000 on the black market.

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