According to the RBZ, the central bank fined many of the top Zimbabwean banks this year for violating exchange rate control rules. These fines were administered as part of the RBZ’s follow-ups to check whether the proceeds of forex auctions were being appropriately disbursed by banks and used as intended by auction winners.

Exchange Control continues to conduct on-site compliance inspections on companies throughout the country funded through the auction.

From January 1 to date, one hundred and nine companies have been inspected. The objective of the on-site post auction validations is to account for auction funds utilisation so as to confirm receipt of value in the country.

Exchange Control has continued to levy administrative penalties on importers who fail to fully account for auction funds.

In addition to company on-site visits, Exchange Control is conducting onsite and offsite inspection on banks.

The exercises are meant to check whether banks are administering exchange control transactions consistent to policy. Exchange Control has fined errant banks for various violations (including) failure to pay funded auction allotments within 72 hours of funding by the bank (RBZ).

With eight months into the year, the foreign exchange situation remains favourable, and forecasts point to a good foreign exchange position at the end of the year,” wrote the Exchange Control Division.

Total foreign currency receipts for the period January 1 to August 31 2022 amounted to US$7,698 billion compared to US$5,815 billion received during the same period in 2021 representing a 32,4% (US$1,874 billion) increase. This affirms the significant growth in the level of receipts over the period.

This tremendous growth in total foreign currency receipts was largely driven by a 41% growth in exports (US$1,475 billion) over the period.

This amplifies the continued dominance of exports as a major source of foreign currency receipts, as they contributed about 65% of the country’s total receipts for the period.

Foreign Investment, particularly FDI, though still low, has registered a significant increase of 202% from 2021 of which 62% (US$20 million) of the foreign investment amount was invested in Energy Sector (Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Company and SinoHydro Hwange Power Holding) from SinoHydro Corporation Holding Zambia.

The statement from the RBZ

We have noticed however that the RBZ’s weekly allocations have decreased from around US$30 million or more at their peak to the current below US$15 million. There was a sharp drop back in May when the RBZ announced that the willing buyer willing seller rate would now be the official rate. Presumably, most official disbursements are now taking place at this rate at the bank level and are therefore not showing up under the RBZ’s auction summaries.