16 December 2013

Sudan: New Head Central Bank Sudan

Cairo — Abdel Rahman Hassan is named as the new governor of the Central Bank of Sudan to contain the financial crisis and hard currency shortage, state press agency Suna announced. It is part of a reshuffle in the top positions of the government. The new bank governor was heading the Omdurman National Bank and is considered a trustee of President Omar Al Bashir.

Abdel Rahman Hassan took on the job after heading state-run Omdurman National Bank since 2006, state news agency Suna reported on Sunday. He replaces former finance minister Mohamed Khair al-Zubair who served as central bank governor since 2011. Both are members of the National Congress Party.

"Hassan was not chosen for his strong views or extraordinary competence. He was chosen because he is trusted," said Harry Verhoeven, an Oxford University professor and expert on Sudan to Reuters.

"I don't think he would change all that much. It's to be seen as part of the general reshuffle in which the president tries to balance a need for new faces and some kind of reform and on other hand a safe pair of hands. He ticks that box very well," Verhoeven added.

The central bank devalued the Sudanese pound by 22.6 percent against the dollar in November, the second such move in just over a year. The scarcity of dollars had become so bad that the central bank had started using up the general reserves of commercial banks, which are meant to be kept as deposits with the central bank, a financial source has told Reuters.

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