Bankers revealed that the Sudanese pound strengthened to 46.95 to the US dollar on Sunday, 14 October 2018, in its first rise since the national currency was devalued in the previous week under a new mechanism to combat a financial crisis.
The newly established team of bank executives and exchange houses assigned to set the exchange rate on a daily basis, decided to keep the pound steady at 47.5 the previous week, following the steep devaluation from the previous official rate of around 29 pounds to a dollar.
As a result of an increasingly expensive black market for dollars that has sapped its ability to import and made prices soar, Sudan has been plagued with an acute foreign currency shortage which caused unrest earlier this year. Abdel Hamid Jamil who heads the exchange rate mechanism team said the rate was determined after consultations.
The strengthening of the pound on Sunday came after the central bank announced the previous day that it had been pumping cash into local banks to enable them to buy foreign currency from the public. Traders said the currency also strengthened slightly on the black market on Sunday. They noted that the buying rate was at 48 pounds against the dollar while the selling rate stood at 49 pounds to the dollar. This was not the case on Thursday (11 October 2018) when the rates were 50 and 51 pounds to the dollar.
Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir, the central bank governor revealed the Treasury was ready to provide any amount of Sudanese pounds to local banks to buy any amount of foreign currency that may become available.
According to a Reuters witness, Sunday, the first day of the working week in Sudan had shorter queues at the ATM in central Khartoum compared to Thursday, last day before the weekend.