Afrex­im­bank mil­lions start flow­ing in

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS NEWS - Liv­ing­stone Marufu

THE Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe has started draw­ing down the US$600 mil­lion nostro sta­bil­i­sa­tion facility availed by Cairo-head­quar­tered African Ex­port Im­port Bank (Afrex­im­bank), with a num­ber of sec­tors al­ready ben­e­fit­ting from the money.

Mon­e­tary au­thor­i­ties say the facility has started sta­bil­is­ing a back­log in for­eign pay­ments.

The back­log has left lo­cal firms buy­ing for­eign cur­rency at a pre­mium.

RBZ Gover­nor Dr John Man­gudya told The Sun­day Mail Busi­ness that for­eign ex­change de­mand was bound to in­crease due be­cause of low pro­duc­tion lev­els and lim­ited fis­cal space.

“We have start­ing draw­ing down of the US$600 mil­lion nostro sta­bil­i­sa­tion facility and we have started ser­vic­ing the mar­ket. For those who have had for­eign ex­change back­logs, they have started pay­ing what they owed.

“We are giv­ing up to more than US$30 mil­lion weekly for es­sen­tial com­modi­ties, to buy crit­i­cal raw ma­te­ri­als, and we are also giv­ing US$4 mil­lion weekly to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals to ser­vice the health sec­tor.

“But the rise of some prices in the econ­omy is not jus­ti­fi­able; it’s just lack of dis­ci­pline and bad busi­ness prac­tice as there will be no rea­son to hike prices when you are al­lo­cated forex on a weekly ba­sis,” said Dr Man­gudya.

Many busi­nesses are us­ing a fourtier pric­ing sys­tem that sees goods and ser­vices priced dif­fer­ently de­pend­ing on if one pays us­ing US dol­lars, bond notes, RTGS or mo­bile money.

The GM of Zim­babwe Stock Ex­change-listed Meik­les Lim­ited’s re­tail arm Meik­les Mega Mar­ket, Mr Pan­ganai Ngorima, said they were yet to ben­e­fit from the sta­bil­i­sa­tion facility.

“We are in the dark about the is­sue as we are still bat­tling with out­stand­ing tele­graphic trans­fers from last year’s trans­ac­tions but the im­port pay­ments via the tele­graphic trans­fer dif­fi­cul­ties haven’t changed that much since last year.

“As such, im­ports of fin­ished prod­ucts and in­deed raw ma­te­ri­als, have been ad­versely af­fected lead­ing to short­ages of cer­tain ba­sic com­modi­ties,” said Mr Ngorima.

He said it was too early to solely de­pend on lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers to sat­isfy re­tail de­mand be­cause of ca­pac­ity con­straints and pro­duc­tion in­ef­fi­cien­cies.

With the sta­bil­i­sa­tion facility be­ing un­locked, the RBZ ex­pects prices to ease.

Dr Man­gudya said it was good that Gov­ern­ment was work­ing on laws to end mul­ti­ple pric­ing, with a Com­mer­cial Crimes Court ex­pected to deal with in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses who pro­mote fi­nan­cial abuses.

Dr Man­gudya

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