The Central Bank yesterday restricted the buying of foreign currency from bureau de changes to international travellers only, a move meant to improve foreign currency utilization in the formal banking channels.
The development is expected to curb foreign currency leakages into the parallel market as illicit traders were buying from the bureau de changes to quench demand on the black market.
In a statement, the RBZ said bureau de changes will only sell foreign currency to individuals wishing to travel outside the country upon submission of their passports.
“The Bureau de Change shall only sell foreign currency cash to individuals for foreign travel, upon submission of a passport. The current cash limits for Personal Travel Allowance of US$ 300 per day, per travel and up to a maximum of US$ 10 000 per year, should strictly be adhered to. The Bureau de changes are, here forth, required to endorse passports of travelers who would have purchased foreign currency,”
“The Business Travel Allowance of US$ 400 per day and up to a maximum of 7 days per travel shall be strictly monitored,” said the bank.
It also stated that the Bureau de Change shall be required to strictly adhere to the daily reporting requirements to the Central Bank.
To date, the RBZ has licensed 46 Bureau de Changes across the country.
Recently, economic analyst, Ashok Chakravarti said the country needs at least 200 bureau de changes to create a bigger platform for trading of foreign currency through formal channels.
The move comes at a time the Bank is trying to stabilize the exchange rates which has been spiraling relentlessly.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) yesterday ordered all banks to suspend the accounts of four companies that include Sakunda, Croco Motors Holdings, Spartan and Access Finance on suspicion of illicit activities that have been pushing black market exchange rates.
Apparently, following the suspension of these accounts, the parallel market exchange rates fell drastically.