Nearly 800 companies benefit from forex auction – RBZ

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Harare (New Ziana) – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Wednesday announced an additional 688 names of firms and institutions that have benefited from the foreign currency auction system since it was introduced mid-last year.

Central bank governor, Dr John Mangudya said the publication of the names was in the “public interest.”

Last week, the central bank published names of the top 100 beneficiaries from the auction, where at least US$639.5 million has been allocated to various companies.

But the exclusion of the other beneficiaries from the list raised suspicions of under-hand dealings, prompting the central bank to publish the names of all entities that had accessed forex from the national pool.

“Pursuant to the publication of the list of the top 100 beneficiaries under the foreign exchange auction system on 16 March 2021, the bank has found it necessary and in the public interest to publish hereunder an additional list of entities that have benefited from the foreign exchange auction for the period 23 June 2020 to 28 February 2021,” Dr Mangudya said.

The introduction of the auction system saw the country dumping its then fixed exchange rate of ZWL$25 to US$1.
Since then, the rate has moved to $84.12 through free float.

Foreign currency is allocated according to a priority list that mainly favours the productive sectors of the economy.

In terms of the foreign currency distribution, the top company has received 1.88 percent (US$12 million) of total allotments while the lowest in the top 100 has received 0.2 percent (US$1.429 million).

The least beneficiary, at number 788, has been allocated US$100 000, which translates to about 0.016 percent of total disbursements.

Top 10 beneficiaries include Cangrow Trading, Stanbic Investor Services, Blue Ribbon Foods, Surface Wilmar, National Foods, Varun Beverages, Sable Chemicals, Zimbabwe Brands and Windmill.

Dr Mangudya said at least 12 companies had been banned from participating in the forex auctions for breaching set rules while 62 others are under the Financial Intelligence Unit’s watch.

The additional 688 companies include government agencies with foreign currency obligations, construction companies, manufacturers of fast moving consumer goods, local authorities, mining and agriculture firms, pharmaceuticals and telecommunication companies.

In total, the 788 companies have been allocated US$582.1 million, amounting to 91 percent of the total disbursements.
New Ziana

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