Reuters reports that as a result of rampant inflation, Sudan’s central bank will start printing 100 pound notes for the first time to ease a liquidity crisis. The country’s economy has been struggling ever since its south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of oil output and depriving Khartoum of a crucial source of foreign currency.
The previous largest bank note in Sudan was 50 pounds. However, local currency liquidity at commercial banks has dried up in recent months. There are long queues outside of banks and daily withdrawal limits are falling to as low as 500 Sudanese pounds ($17.06) in some places.
Abdullah al-Ramadi, a Sudanese economist said “printing the 100-ound banknote is a step in the right direction, because the high inflation rate has dropped the value of the 50-pound bank note”. He added that the decision “will help solve the liquidity shortage that harmed the Sudanese economy and the central bank has to increase money supply to overcome the liquidity crisis”.
To address an economic crisis that could derail President Omar al-Bashir’s plan to extend his nearly three decades in power, restrictions on how much is available to commercial banks are among measures aimed at curbing rampant inflation. Bashir also slashed a third of ministries to cut cost.
Sudan’s inflation rate, which is over 60 percent, is among the world’s highest. Its currency buys fewer than half as many dollars on the black market, which has replaced the formal banking system.