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RBZ amends forex auction rules

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), yesterday amended Foreign Currency Auction bidding rules, bringing a new provision that bidders should submit their bids through banks four working days before the auction date as a way to give the apex bank time to sift through requests.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya

Banks are also now required to submit bids received from their clients to the apex bank within three working days, and any bids not supplied within that timeframe will be disqualified forthwith.

The new changes have been effected to deal with bidders who have been taking advantage of the weak auction and banking systems in the country to manipulate processes.

The RBZ now sees this as the opportunity to ascertain authenticity of the bids on time and allot foreign currency to deserving companies and individuals.

“The bank wishes to advise the public that with immediate effect, all bids for foreign exchange shall be submitted through bidders’ respective bankers at least four business days before the date of the auction.

“The bankers shall in turn submit the bids to the bank, the auction administrator, at least three business days before the date of the auction.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of bids being submitted through the auction system, averaging 2 000 per week, and thus the change in bid submission timelines will give banks ample time to carry out the necessary due diligence processes and assess their customers’ bids,” the statement released yesterday in the morning read.

Seventy-seven people were blacklisted by the RBZ for operating on the foreign currency black market, whose bank and mobile money accounts have now been frozen and who are barred from operating any others for two years.

The freezing of bank and mobile money accounts and the blacklisting for two years are part of the RBZ’s efforts to clamp down on the black market by removing the middlemen.

The black market is seen as subject to manipulation and profiteering by those who operate it with the rates generated each day having very little to do with actual market forces.

The first group of 30 were listed on September 28, 2021.

The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe has since barred all those listed from operating mobile lines. The Herald