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Zimbabwe Said to Double Bill Offer After First Sale

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will offer to sell $30 million of 91-day Treasury bills on Nov. 6 after completing its first successful sale of securities since 2008 last week, an official at the central bank said.

The offer is double the size of the $15 million auctioned on Oct. 26. That offer resulted in the sale of $9.9 million of 91-day bills at an average yield of 8.51 percent. The official declined to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak to the press. The central bank said it may reply later by e-mail to questions from Bloomberg.

The bank received $11.1 million in bids with yields ranging from 5 percent to 13 percent at the Oct. 26 auction, having rejected all bids at attempted sales on Oct. 4 and Oct. 24.

The country abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in February 2009 and adopted the U.S. currency after inflation accelerated to 500 billion percent, according to an International Monetary Fund estimate. A decade-long recession ended that year after the 15-nation Southern African Development Community brokered a resolution to a political standoff between the party of President Robert Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change of Morgan Tsvangirai.

The plan to restart the bill sales was announced in July by Gideon Gono, the central bank governor. Zimbabwe lacks a benchmark interest rate. The weighted average lending rate for private banks ranged between 14 percent and 20 percent in the four months through July 31, Gono said in a midyear monetary policy statement.

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