By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe dollar firmed by $0.21 cents as it strengthened against the United States dollar amid sustained stability.
It closed Tuesday’s Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) foreign exchange auction at $81.49 from the previous week’s $81.70.
This marks a record three times since the local currency first gained against the US dollar when it went down from $83.32.
A trading update released at the close of the 14th auction shows the total amount of foreign currency allotted on the main auction was US$30.4 million up from US$20 million availed last week.
The figure signifies a US$10.4 million increase of foreign currency indicating a boost in the market’s confidence levels towards the RBZ auction.
A total of 301 bids were received on the main auction while 35 were disqualified with bid rates reaching a high of $86.70 and a low of $78 against the US$.
Priority was given to buyers with raw material importation needs who were allotted US$13.5 million, machinery and equipment getting US$5.7 million, consumables (including spares, tyres, and electricals) US$2.7 million, services US$2.4 million and retail getting US$2.3 million among other allotments.
Trading on the Small to Medium Enterprises counter saw a total US$1.2 million being allotted up from US$1.1 million released last week.
A total of 117 bids were received while 22 were disqualified for violating the market regulations.
The highest bid rate hit $86 and a low of $78 against one United States dollar.
Raw materials were allotted US$367 244, machinery and equipment US$210 272, consumables US$228 453, services (loans, dividends, and disinvestments) US$118 470, and retail and distribution received US$187 532 among other priorities.
Meanwhile, the parallel market rates are pegged around $85 per US$1 for cash payments and $90 for bank transfers but liquidity challenges prompted by the strict measures applied by the central bank continue to incapacitate illegal dealers from pushing high volume transactions.