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Burundi Franc Weakens on Reduced Donor Flows, Central Bank Says

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Burundi’s franc weakened this year as a result of a shortage of foreign currency caused by reduced flows from donors and increased trade on the black market, central bank Governor Gaspard Sindayigaya said.

The currency of the East African nation fell to 1,410 today, Sindayigaya said in a speech at a conference today in Bujumbura, the capital. The franc traded at 1,361.50 on Dec. 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Donors have decreased their help to the country,” he said. Sindayigaya said in an interview last month that East Africans living abroad are sending less money back to their home countries as the crisis in the euro region slows global growth.

Burundi, a coffee and tea-exporter, is the third-least developed nation on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, which measures indicators including education and income, behind Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Economic growth is expected to accelerate to 4.8 percent this year from an estimated 4.2 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The central bank has put unspecified strategies in place to prevent the franc weakening further, Sindayigaya said, without providing further details.

To contact the reporter on this story: Desire Nimubona in Bujumbura at dnimubona@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

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