Mohamed Osman – Associated Press December 28, 2007
The Central Bank of Sudan will deal only in the euro beginning in 2008 and advised local commercial banks to opt for convertible currencies other than the U.S. dollar.
The announcement, made public in a circular note distributed to banks late Thursday, reflected efforts by the central authorities to steer away from the weak dollar amid Sudan's economic boom.
The new policy note, signed by Governor of the Central Bank Sabir Mohamed al-Hassan, said all Central Bank dealings would be in the euro starting Jan. 1.
The note also recommended commercial banks use currencies other than the U.S. dollar, with the view to "lessen the risk of continuing to deal in the U.S. dollar."
The euro bought $1.4701 in afternoon European trading Friday, up from $1.4627 in late New York trading on Thursday.
Banks should advise account holders to commute U.S. dollar assets to other currencies and "enlighten them on the risks associated with maintaining balances in the American dollar," it said, without elaborating.
The advisory also said banks using the dollar would "bear the risks resulting from those dealings," but a shift to other currencies was optional.
After a decade of American sanctions, Sudan has few commercial ties to the United States.
Nearly 75 percent of Sudan's trade is with Arab and Asian nations and Sudanese firms are already using the euro extensively.
Last year, Sudan's economy grew by 12 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund. That growth was propelled by the estimated 500,000 barrels of oil produced each day – two-thirds of it bought by China
Last updated 01/01/2008