11 March 2018

Sudan: Central Bank of Sudan Receives Loan From 'Turkish Company'

Khartoum / El Obeid — A Turkish company will support the Central Bank of Sudan with $ 2 billion. The amount will be used for the import of petroleum products as well as wheat.

The official Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) reported on Thursday that the Central Bank of Sudan has signed an agreement with a Turkish company concerning the provision of "banking facilities" amounting to $ 2 million.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Hazim Abdelgadir, said in a press statement on Thursday that the agreement came within the context of the trade and economic cooperation between Sudan and Turkey. The amount is to be paid back within two years.

He did not mention the name of the company, but said it has already started providing fuel and cooking gas. Two shipments of petrol have been sent, along with four shipments of cooking gas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a visit to Khartoum last December during a a three-day trip to Africa that also includes stops in Chad and Tunisia. During his visit, Turkey and Sudan agreed to establish a strategic Cooperation Council and to enhance trade agreements.

'Balance restored'

According to Abdelrahman Dirar, the Minister of State for Finance and Economic Planning and member of the high level delegation accompanying President Omar Al Bashir during his current tour in North Kordofan, the recently adopted austerity measures "have contributed to restoring the balance of the national economy".

Dirar told political and native administration leaders in the North Kordofan capital of El Obeid last week that Sudan's gold proceeds, together with remittances of the Sudanese expatriates could easily cover any gap in the trade balance of the country. The recently adopted economic measures have led to the stabilisation of the currency rates at the black forex market.

Austerity measures

In December last year, the Sudanese government decided to implement a new austerity policy in a bid to solve the financial crisis in the country. The customs rate of the US Dollar was raised from SDG 6.7 to an indicative SDG 18, to halt the plummeting Pound on the black market. The 2018 Nation Budget further included a substantial increase in taxes and other dues.

The measures, implemented in the first week of January, led to the doubling, and in some cases tripling of basic commodities. The Dollar rate however, continued to rise. On February 5, Khartoum increased the indicative exchange rate of the US Dollar again, from SDG 18 to SDG 30. The prices of wheat and as well of sorghum jumped again.

The Central Bank of Sudan further banned any import operations by banks using their own foreign currency without obtaining its prior approval. The measures seem to have led to the decrease of the Dollar rate at the parallel forex market. On March 1, the greenback was sold for SDG 32, after it recorded a high SDG 42 in early February.

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