Roundup: Sudanese pound hits record low against USD amid civil conflict

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KHARTOUM, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese pound on Sunday hit record lows against foreign currencies in the parallel market, registering an exchange rate of 880 pounds per U.S. dollar, according to a foreign exchange dealer in the capital Khartoum.

"The pound/dollar exchange rate stood at 880 pounds per dollar for purchase and 885 pounds per dollar for sale in the parallel market on Sunday," the unnamed dealer told Xinhua, noting that the Saudi riyal to Sudanese pound rate reached a record high of 225.

On April 14, before the war in Sudan broke out, the exchange rate of one dollar stood at 607 pounds.

The dealer expected the pound to continue falling against foreign currencies due to the impact of the war and the government's inability to provide hard currency for financing the import of goods and services.

Economic experts warned that the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) would lead to a major economic deterioration in Sudan, an indicator for which could be the pound's depreciation.

"The continued decline in the exchange rate against foreign currencies constitutes an indicator of a forthcoming economic collapse," Zuhair Al-Bakri, a Sudanese economic analyst, told Xinhua on Sunday.

"There are many factors that led to this reality, including high inflation, weak production, cessation of exports, loss of monetary supply, and suspension of business activities," Al-Bakri said.

Sudanese economic expert Adil Mahjoub predicted that the exchange rate of the pound against the greenback would exceed one thousand-to-one within two months unless the central bank could take effective measures.

"The central bank must urgently intervene and take measures to control the exchange rate, or else a comprehensive economic collapse will be inevitable," Mahjoub said.

In the meantime, the Sudanese General Intelligence Service (GIS) accused in a statement the RSF of leading a sabotage campaign against the national economy, vowing to take legal measures against whoever is proven to be involved in these suspicious practices, whether individuals or institutions, local media reported.

The GIS said all bank accounts would be subject to monitoring and audit, encouraging citizens to report any suspicious activity related to foreign currencies.

A study by a group of economists, which was published on Saturday, listed the most prominent economic impact of the ongoing war as the destruction of infrastructure and industrial sectors, shrinkage of economic growth, and loss of jobs.

The war also dealt a blow to Sudan's gold exports, a main source of its foreign currency. The total gold produced by its corporate sectors dropped to two tons from mid-April, when the civil conflict erupted, to the end of August, compared to 18 tons in 2022, according to a recent statement from Sudan's state-run Mineral Resources Company.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the SAF and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas since April 15, which have caused at least 3,000 deaths and more than 6,000 injuries, according to the Sudanese Health Ministry. Some 5.3 million people have been displaced inside and outside Sudan, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Enditem

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