Zimbabwe Said to Sell $30 Million of Bills in Private Placements

Zimbabwe’s central bank yesterday sold $30 million of Treasury Bills as the government seeks to raise money to fund its operations, a Treasury official said.

The sale of 365-day and 90-day bills comes in the same week as a $103 million Treasury Bill offer made by the bank. The Harare-based Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe sold $20 million of 365-day bills to an insurance and property company and $10 million of 90-day bills to the state-owned National Social Security Authority, the official said, asking not to be identified because the information has not been made public.

Because of a failed land reform program Zimbabwe’s economy shrank by 40 percent between 2000 and 2008, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the country abandoned its own currency in favor of the dollar, South African rand and three other currencies in 2009 to stem record inflation. The government is now trying to raise money to pay government workers and to repair and expand dilapidated infrastructure.

The government plans further bill sales to fund itself, the official said. Alson Mfiri, a spokesman for the central bank, wasn’t available when his office was called and James Matiza, general manager of the NSSA, said he wasn’t aware of the sale.

The 365-day bills have a half-yearly coupon and yield 10 percent while the 90-day bills yield 7 percent, the official said.

The $103 million offer was taken up by seven institutions, he said, declining to give more information.

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