- Limits intended to slow outflows of foreign exchange
- Currency has plunged 37 percent against dollar this year
Mozambique will set the limit for citizens using credit and debit cards abroad at 700,000 meticals ($13,600) a year as it seeks to curb foreign-exchange outflows amid a slump in commodity prices, the central bank said.
Bank of Mozambique Governor Ernesto Gove said last month that the cap was necessary because depressed commodity prices have put the economy under strain. The metical has plunged 37 percent again the dollar this year.
The southern African nation exports coal, gas, sugar and cotton. It has gas finds in the offshore northern Rovuma basin that could help turn the country into the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter in a decade.
Credit- and debit-card transactions by Mozambicans abroad jumped to $800 million last year from $300 million in 2012, and equivalent to more than half of the country’s 2014 exports of about $1.5 billion, according to Gove.
A global decline in commodity prices has cut Mozambique’s revenue from exports of coal, gas, sugar and cotton and the currency’s plunge against the dollar makes it Africa’s second-worst performer this year.