Harare (New Ziana) – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on Wednesday it will, with immediate effect, sell foreign currency to bureau de changes as the central bank tries to make accessible hard currency to small companies and individuals through formal channels.
The bureau de changes are already licensed to buy and sell foreign currency but have struggled to find people willing to sell their foreign currency to them due to the lower official exchange rate which they are obliged to use as opposed to the parallel market rate.
Th official rate as of April 21 was $84.48 to the greenback while on the black market its between $115 and $120.
As a result, the public chooses to transact outside the formal system where there are higher returns rendering bureau de changes useless.
Under the new system, effective April 21, the RBZ said bureau de changes will only be able to support payments up to a maximum of US$500.
“All transactions by participating bureaux de change will be monitored through the bureau de change transaction reporting system put in place by the bank,” the central bank said.
“This arrangement is expected to improve the efficacy of the foreign exchange marketing in the country and enhance accessibility of foreign currency by small scale enterprises and individuals through formal channels.”
Small companies and individuals are currently struggling to access foreign currency on the auction system where allocations are done according to a set priority list.