The unification of the official rate and the black market rate play a pivotal role in the plan, and any indication that the parallel market, which is used by most companies and all Sudanese, continues to capture the lion’s share of the hard currency trade, may undermine politics.
Black market dealers said they were waiting to see how the banks would react and whether the government would intervene in the market to stop the further depreciation of the Sudanese pound, or whether it would take strict measures against its activities.
The devaluation and transition to a “flexible, managed exchange rate system” is a fundamental reform that has been postponed for months for fear of risking the fragile transitional government that was formed after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
Officials said the black market was handling more than 90 percent of transactions. Trade intensified when Sudan lost its main source of income in dollars after the oil-rich south seceded in 2011.
Donors, including the United States, praised the “courageous” step they demanded to enable Sudan to reduce its debt burden in line with the International Monetary Fund’s program.
A bank employee said on Monday that few people came to banks to sell their foreign currency for the first time in years. Two bankers said the banks had few dollars and were buying dollars but not selling them, waiting to see if Sudan’s central bank would offer more.
A woman in a bank in Khartoum, who asked not to be named, said, “I sold 100 dollars today, and for the first time I sell in the bank, and I came today to test whether these prices are real and no media talk, but I got a good price.”
It sold $ 100 for 376 pounds. As of Sunday, the official exchange rate was 55 pounds to a dollar.
“For the first time, I am selling currency through the banking system because the new prices are reasonable,” said Imad Othman.
The exchange rate on the black market, which has shrunk sharply, to between 380 and 385 pounds.