6 February 2018

Sudan Pound Plunge Affects People's Savings - Professor

Cairo / Khartoum — Economic professors warned for an economic collapse as the current economic situation has prompted people to withdraw their money from the banks in the wake of the sharp rise in US Dollar rate over the past three months.

"Recently the government has printed a very large amount of money, which entered the market to buy all the existing US Dollars, and raised its exchange rate. This left the people with worthless money in their hands," according to Prof. Hamid El Tijani, head of the department of public policy and administration at the American University in Cairo.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, El Tijani claimed that 90 per cent of the Sudanese banks' assets are uncovered and he therefore expects "their bankruptcy, one after another, because their officials speculate with the funds of Sudanese people.

"This has caused a loss of confidence in the Sudanese Pound and prompted people to withdraw their money and savings from the banks, making the banks lose their assets."

"The Dollar is no longer a means of exchange in Sudan, but it has become the way of savings for people. This leads to my expectation that it will reach 100 Pounds this year." - Professor Hamid El Tijani

"The huge demand for the Dollar today is not because of the parallel market, but it has become an important portfolio of property for people, for their savings and earnings, which has made the Dollar unavailable in the market now."

El Tijani explained: "I can say that we entered the stage of economic collapse, in the sense of the word that it strikes the citizen in his life: his money, his livelihood and his earnings."

Increase by 125 percent

Yesterday the Central Bank of Sudan raised the indicative exchange rate of the US Dollar from SDG 18 to SDG 30. Last week the Dollar price rose by two Pounds within two days on the parallel forex market, to SDG 42.

The Dollar has increased in less than three months by 125 percent, and sharply increased in the last week. In November 2017, the Dollar traded at SDG 28.

On Sunday, currency dealers crowded near several Sudanese banks against the backdrop of the unprecedented scarcity of the national currency, increasing public demand for the Pound.

Yesterday a large number of ATMs of commercial banks in the capital city Khartoum went out of service, either owing to the network being inactive, or as there is no cash available. This included ATMs in Sharj El Nil and Bahri.

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