19 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Dollar Shortage Hits Hard On Kwacha

Lusaka. — "The local currency is expected to remain on the back-foot." The kwacha retreated 1,1 percent to trade at a record low 6,21 per dollar in Lusaka, the capital.

The kwacha dropped almost 11 percent this year, the fourth-worst performer of all currencies tracked by Bloomberg and the biggest decline in Africa.

A weaker kwacha poses risks to inflation in a country that imports items from oil to clothing, while also pushing up external debt repayment costs. The Bank of Zambia has used $178 million of its foreign reserves and raised its benchmark lending rate to a record in a bid to support the local currency.

Zambia depends on copper for about 70 percent of its export earnings. -- AFP.

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