Interbank rates increase as black market rates tumble

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By Alois Vinga

THE interbank market exchange rates have registered increases with most banks are now paying more than the parallel market rate.

A market assessment by Business, showed that the once thriving black market which before last week’s drastic action by authorities to discontinue the multi-currency system dominated by the US dollar had hit record levels of $15.00 against US$1, had been strangled.

“We are paying between $7.50 to $8 per every US$1 for ZIMSWITCH Instant Payment Interchange Technology (ZIPIT), transfers and mobile electronic transactions while for cash the rate stands at $6 against the US dollar,” said one black market dealer at the Gulf Complex.

In comparison, First Capital Bank is buying US$1 for $8.82, CABS was paying $8.50, National Merchant Bank was paying $8.90 and CBZ is paying $8.10.

Some of the banks are paying cash at the same rates. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya was not immediately available for comment.

Currency rates on the parallel market had spiraled out of control putting pressure on commodity prices that had shot through the roof amid threats of social upheaval.

However, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube on Monday last week announced the Zimbabwe dollar was to be the sole legal tender for all domestic transactions, triggering a fall in the rates on the black market.