COVID-19 lockdown hits money changers hard as rates tumble

  • Foreign currency rates tumble to their lowest in recent days
  • Illegal dealers say to hold on to their money in anticipation of a boom

MONEY changers countrywide are crying foul over the fluctuating foreign currency rates, Zim Morning Post has established.

Illegal foreign currency dealers interviewed by this publication on Thursday indicated that the lockdown had brought doom to their businesses as they were currently recording depressed activities on the forex exchange market since the start of the 21-day lockdown period announced by goverment on Monday.

“The lockdown has led to a decline in the demand of forex on both the interbank and parallel markets because cross border activities have been put on hold, so there is less circulation of forex on the market,” Tatenda Muridza, an illegal foreign currency dealer plying his trade at Copacabana, said.

Meanwhile, economists like Victor Bhoroma have attributed the fluctuation of forex on the black market to the lockdown, saying many producers and importers such as cross border traders were inactive, so demand had plummeted just as commodity imports.

“Cross-border traders are an essential part of the market. The lockdown has led to a decline in demand, hence there is no proper circulation of forex on the market,” he said.

The stagnation in trade, according to economic analysts, had led to the tumbling of rates from 1:45 to 1.35-37 currently prevailing on the parallel market.

A survey conducted by this publication revealed that many illegal money changers were likely to hold on to their forex in anticipation of a price rally after the 21-day lockdown period.

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