Zimbabwe’s foreign currency exchange rates on the black market are yet to adjust to the recently pronounced monetary policy, as market trends maintained previous levels.
As snap survey by this publication in the streets of Harare, has revealed that the rates on the informal trading platform remained slightly firm. The bond note is currently stably trading at between 320 to 350 against the green buck.
Some forex traders who spoke to ZwNews.com expressed mixed sentiments, most of them yet to grasp how the recently announced measures would affect their day to day operations.
Tawanda Dzawo who operates at the Eastgate Shopping Mall says as far as he is concerned, indications are that the new measures will need time to have a meaningful impact, if it is to be.
“From my layman’s understanding the rates are more likely to raise before it would drop. Under the prevailing economic challenges currently dogging the country people are going to remain speculative, as they try to gain confidence in the new measures,” he says.
Dzawo adds; “Though I am neither an expert in the field, nor am I an economist, year in year out, it has been said that for every economy to flourish, all the modalities should be put in place.
“As I can see, the banks and the recently revived bureau de change will function like a see-saw. People will always follow higher rates. The two markets will have unstable rates, as they try to outdo each other, until the bond get extinct.”
Another forex trader Joseph Dewah also says while he not that well versed with the technicalities of the subject, he thinks that as long as the country’s production capacity is low, then economic stability, foreign currency reserves would remain constrained.
“Our revenue inflows from imports should first grow, before we could talk of any stability both economically and financially. Any prevailing stability being registered, as the authorities are saying, could just be temporarily as a result of a market that is yet to adjust,” he says.
Meanwhile, the official reports by the authorities is that Zimbabwe’s new local currency the RTGS dollar is now the strongest currency in Africa after it reportedly opened trading at 1:2.5 to the US dollar on Friday.
The ‘RTGS Dollar’ was introduced by reserve bank governor John Mangudya during his monetary policy statement on Wednesday by combining RTGS balances and the bond (notes and coins) into a single currency.
This comes at the time the market forces on the ground are still painting a contradicting image, parallel to the claimed 1:2.5, viewed by some as an illusionary rate.
Former minister of finance Tendai Biti made headlines when he claimed that the government was planning to introduce a new currency, the authorities went to refute the claims.