Mangudya mum on bond notes, re-introduces foreign currency accounts

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By Alois Vinga

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya was curiously silent on Bond Notes as he delivered his monetary policy review this Monday and directed banks to open separate foreign currency accounts.

Analysts had hoped the governor would address resurgent inflationary pressures as well as clarify the bank’s position the bond after finance minister Prof Mthuli Ncube – in opinion articles published before he took the treasury job – indicated that the surrogate currency should be phased away.

Mangudya did not however, make any concrete proposals either on the Bond Notes or inflation front.

Instead, he directed banks to open separate foreign currency accounts.

“With immediate effect, all banks are directed to open separate Foreign Currency Accounts for forex earners,” said the RBZ chief.

“The move is aimed at encouraging exports and eliminating the dilution of forex within the RTGS system.

“In a bid to protect these deposits, we have negotiated with Afreximbank for   a $500 000 Nostro Stabilisation Facility.

“The FCA Nostro stabilization facility shall boost confidence to the depositors and exporters shall retain 100 percent of their forex earnings.”

Mangudya rejected suggestions by journalists that the move was an admission that Bond Notes had failed.

“The purpose (of FCA accounts) is to preserve value for those exporting after realizing that mixing up the accounts discourages exports,” he said.  

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze welcomed the development saying it would help build confidence.

“This is a positive development,” said Dr Kanyenze.

“While it will not change much in solving the immediate problems the country is facing, it is an important gesture in building blocks towards confidence building.

“Most Zimbabweans had opened FCA accounts in foreign countries and this (announcement) has made it easier.”