Lilangeni/Rand weaken against major currencies
ACCORDING to a Recent Economic Development (RED) report released by the Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS) for the month of August, the Lilangeni/Rand weakened against the major currencies.
The local unit depreciated on the back of the news that the president of South Africa had survived the vote of no confidence and the prospect of a further credit downgrade by Moody’s.
“Compared to July, the local unit weakened by 0.81 per cent to average E13.24 against the US dollar in August. Against the Pound Sterling, the local unit depreciated by 0.63 per cent to average E17.18 and against the Euro it fell by 3.43 per cent to average E15.64,” the report said.
The Rand, however, appreciated in the second half of the month following Moody’s decision to maintain South Africa’s credit rating at investment grade on August 12 and the diminishing prospect of interest rate hikes by the Bank of England and the US Fed.
“However, this was not enough to offset the huge depreciation noted in the first half of the period under review. The local unit ended the period under review at E12.99 to the US dollar, E16.78 to the Pound Sterling and E15.47 to the Euro,” the report said.
Preliminary figures for the month ending August 31 further indicated that total public debt stood at E11.7 billion, an equivalent of 20.1 per cent of GDP.
This shows an increase of two per cent from E11.5 billion recorded at the end of July 2017.
“As at the end of August 2017, external debt stood at E5.3 billion, an equivalent of 9.1 per cent of GDP. This figure shows that external debt has remained stable over the month under review when compared to E5.3 billion which was again recorded in July 2017,” the report said.