You can now buy Forex at the official rate from exchange bureaus: RBZ

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You can now buy Forex at the official rate from exchange bureaus: RBZ

In a big development, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that individuals will now be able to purchase foreign currency from exchange bureaus at the official rate. Given that the official rate is almost half of that prevailing in the parallel market, this announcement will be welcomed by many Zimbabweans.

The decision to allow individuals to purchase foreign currency from exchange bureaus at the official rate was taken at the last meeting of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s monetary policy committee. This decision aims to promote financial inclusion among ordinary people.

However, please note that individuals are limited to purchasing US $ 50 per week, with a monthly limit of US $ 200. Monetary authorities have allowed exchange bureaus to apply a 10% premium on transaction fees. Since the official auction rate hovers around 85 (85.91 to be precise since last week), that means the effective auction rate will be 95.91. Since the black market rates are between 140 and 160, most people certainly won’t care.

Some of the resolutions of the central bank MPC meeting are as follows:

Further liberalize currency exchange operations to promote financial inclusion by allowing them to process low value foreign currency transactions of up to $ 50 per person per week based on individual identities, fees and commissions charged by exchange offices not exceeding 10% per transaction.

Reactions to the announcement have been mixed. Some hailed the move saying it would prevent them from being milked in the parallel market. However, others have expressed skepticism about the sustainability of the policy in the long term. They pointed out that this policy presents a chance for arbitrage by those who are logged in and will have access to forex.

Here are some of the reactions to the announcement.


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