One slightly positive thing from the president’s long-winded speech over the weekend was the removal of the auction-rate as the official rate. Now shops and businesses are allowed to use the current willing buyer willing seller rate. This effectively makes the WBWS rate (as it is known) the new official rate. The RBZ has just confirmed this by making changes to their website and in circular number 3 of 2022 where they make other pronouncements that give life to the president’s many proclamations.

Among the issues touched on by the circular are these:

  • Exporters can now sell their foreign currency at the willing buyer willing seller rate.
  • This includes the 20% and 40% that exporters are forced to surrender to the central bank so that it can be sold at the auction. Strangely it means unless the auction rates improve foreign currency will be sold onto this market at a loss!
  • The amount you can buy and sell on the willing buyer-willing seller rate is US$5 000 per day and US$10 000 per week. Why this limit? No one knows, from time to time the RBZ comes up with these strange limits one has to assume they come from some higher spiritual power.
  • Everyone should check out the RBZ website for the day’s interbank rates and operate within 10% of these.
  • Like the auction-rate the interbank rate is murky, no one knows how it is determined and it barely seems to move.
  • When importing only the supplier of the goods in question will be paid. The payment cannot be sent to another country. Seems sensible but given what is happening with Russia and the sanctions against Iran you can bet this will not apply to all payments.
  • In fact, fuel payments are exempt to the third party country payments as we kind of expected. A long of sanction busting takes place with these transactions and often those under sanctions have clever ways to stay ahead of America and her gang of sanction crusaders.

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