By Alois Vinga
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Friday released a consolidated statement showing nearly 6 000 companies have benefitted from its Foreign Exchange Auction system since the platform’s formation up to last year.
The update comes in the wake of concerns raised by companies blaming the platform for delays in the settlement of allotted foreign currency.
It also coincides with a backlash from some sections of society questioning the efficiency of the market in meeting the local foreign currency demand.
But in an update, RBZ governor John Mangudya maintained that the platform has gone a long way in availing foreign currency to the local market as testified by the 1 822 beneficiaries of over US$1,8 billion allotted under the Main Foreign Exchange Auction.
“The auction system remains the most diversified source of foreign exchange with more than 5 958 entities having accessed foreign currency through the Main Auction and the SMEs Auction.
“The bulk of the allotted funds (60%) has gone towards payment for raw materials (US$857.6 million) and machinery and equipment (US$421.7 million) and the residual 40% going towards payment for consumables, pharmaceuticals and other critical needs of the economy,” he said.
The statement says 4 136 companies benefitted from the US$267 395 337 allotted under the SMEs Foreign Exchange Auction
The attached schedule shows the total foreign exchange payments by source for the period January 2021 to September 2021 amounting to US$4,9 billion broken down as follows: – foreign currency accounts US$3,1 billion, interbank market US$275,6 million, and the Foreign Exchange Auction System US$1,5 billion.
The schedule shows that the Auction remains the second-highest source of foreign currency at 30% apart from self-funded Foreign Currency Accounts which stand at 64%.
At the bottom as the source of foreign currency is the Interbank market, which stands at 6%.
To date, the top ten beneficiaries include; Blue Ribbon which has benefitted US$27 million, Varun Beverages US$24,5 million, United Refineries US$21,7 million, CanGrow Trading US$20,6 million, Surface Wilmar US$17,6 million, and Willowton Group Zimbabwe US$17,1 million.
The other three are; Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited US$16,5 million, Olivine Industries US$16,4 million, Pure Oil Industries US$15,2 million, and ZFC Limited US$13,1 million.