Off The Wire
Angola's central bank says only commercial banks can sell forex to public
LUANDA, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Angola's central bank said on Monday it was the sole responsibility of commercial banks to sell foreign currency to the public and that it would sell forex only to large importers of essential goods.
The southern African nation in January abandoned the kwanza's peg to the U.S. dollar, devaluing it by about 10 percent, in a bid to attract capital to the oil-exporting country, which was hit hard by a slide in global crude prices .
"National Bank of Angola (BNA) has implemented a new exchange rate framework which, among other measures, gives commercial banks the responsibility of selling foreign currency to citizens and companies that need it," the bank said in a statement.
"Requests for the purchase of foreign currency must be submitted only to commercial banks, with the exception of large importers of medicines and/or foodstuffs," the bank said.
Since the peg was abandoned, the kwanza has lost over 20 percent of its value to the dollar, while persistent shortages of foreign tender over the past half-decade have seen a currency black market flourish.
(Reporting by Herculao Curoado, writing by Mfuneko Toyana, editing by Larry King)