Mozambique Sets Foreign-Exchange Limits, Standard Bank Says

  • Central bank said to restrict import of foreign-currency notes
  • Lender says it’s limiting monthly withdrawals, sales

Mozambique has instituted foreign-exchange restrictions, Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s local unit told account holders in the cash-strapped southern African nation, in an e-mail seen by Bloomberg.

“In response to restrictions on the import of foreign currency notes by the Mozambican Reserve Bank, Standard Bank has been compelled to administer the following restrictions in managing this situation,” the lender said. “Effectively immediately foreign currency cash withdrawal and sale of foreign currency by account debit, shall observe the following monthly limits: $500, 1000 rand and 500 euro.”

Bank of Mozambique hasn’t issued any new regulations, Eliana Namburete, a spokeswoman at the lender, said by text message.

In June, Mozambique held foreign reserves equivalent to 3.2 months of imports, not including merchandise for mega-projects, central bank Governor Ernesto Gove said, without giving a figure. The metical has fallen 31 percent against the dollar this year, adding to losses of 32 percent in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It closed trading 1 percent weaker at 69.50 against the dollar in Maputo, the capital.

The coal-producing nation, which is also trying to develop gas fields that the government says may make it the third-biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, owes foreign investors $9.84 billion and has a domestic debt of $1.8 billion. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings believes the nation’s public debt is equal to 90 percent of its gross domestic product. The company is scheduled to review Mozambique’s credit ranking later on Friday.

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