By Alois Vinga
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s on-going efforts to mop up excess liquidity is contributing to the current efficiency at the Foreign Exchange Auction platform, economist Persistence Gwanyanya has said.
He made the remarks at the close of the RBZ FX51/2021 weekly auction which allotted a grand total of US$44.7 million on both the Small to Medium Enterprises and Main Auction platforms.
Total bids received stood at 946 while priority towards revamping industrial productivity was sustained as testified by the US$14.4 million and US$8.2 million allotments towards raw materials, machinery and equipment needs on the main auction.
The same priority was sustained on the SME platform where the two critical needs were allotted US$1.9 million each respectively.
The official exchange rate remained stable at $85.36 against US$1.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Business this week, Gwanyanya said the on-going exercise of mopping up excess liquidity in the economy has kept the auction afloat.
He said part of the strategy saw the RBZ ordering all banks to surrender their excess cash or liquidity.
Excess liquidity/cash position is when a company’s balance exceeds the actual working capital cash balance needed.
This becomes excess cash, or cash that is not necessary to the firm’s financial operations unless it is reinvested for other purposes.
Under the RBZ arrangement, the banks are receiving Non-negotiable Certificates of Deposit (CDs) yielding no interest with effect from the 4th of June 2021.
“Records show that by the 11th of June 2021, a total $8.6 billion had been mopped up. You will need to note that such sources of funds were being used by banks to extend overdrafts to their clients who would in turn approach the auction and acquire foreign currency, in the process creating the wrong impressions on trades,” he said.
He said such measures will go a long way to curb speculative participation while channelling foreign currency to deserving industry players.
“Without mopping up excess money the demand for foreign currency would be much even higher than reflected in the auction results. If efficiently sustained, we expect exchange rates on the parallel market to fall because all sources for excess money will soon dry out,” he added.