Central Bank Combats Money Changers

Written by the economic editor

The Central bank during the past two months pumped more than $220 million to meet the needs of the market in hard currency, said a source at the Central Bank.

“The bank is following the case of the market continuously through field visits and follow-up of commercial and Islamic banks, and money exchange firms operating in our country, and it provides  for the needs of banks in accordance with the requirements for the process of commercial guarantees related to import processing that directly pays in cash in such circumstances.”

Regarding the disappearance of hard currency from the market, as well as money exchangers, the source said that this is not true, but acknowledged existence of some of the excitable people from the money changers who are manipulating exchange rates to pay the bank to deal only with banks and large exchange companies.

The Central Bank has taken a number of measures against the manipulators of the owners of money exchangers through fining them with large sums of money.

Their names will also be published in newspapers and the media in the coming days, and closure of these shops is a possibility in future.

Regarding the bank clients who have assets in hard currency and can not withdraw any sums, the source confirmed that it is possible to withdraw any amounts from an account to another belonging to the client.

It was also reported that the bank has taken a number of precautionary measures, as well as strict control on the movement of foreign currency within the country, as well as supervision over the money exchangers.

With regard to the amounts allowed to leave the country, the source confirmed that the central bank does not allow the exit of more than $10 thousand, and in case of a person’s need for the withdrawal of an amount greater than this, permission must be taken from the bank to find out reasons for the currency demand and the purpose of that withdrawal.

Over the past year, the central bank has pumped more than a billion dollars to maintain the riyal exchange rate against the dollar at a certain level.

The foreign reserves of the Central Bank have decreased from $7.1 billion at the end of 2009 to $5.8 billion by the end of last year, a decrease of $1.3 billion.

The situation has been affected by the balance of payments dramatically, and the external public debt reached to $6.127 million.

International financial institutions acquired the largest share as the outstanding balance reached $3.325 million, including premium arrears to these institutions, debt provided by Member States in the Paris Club and by Russia, Japan and the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, amounted to $1.7 billion, and the rest of the debt funds were distributed among non-member states of the Paris Club.

This foreign assets of the Yemeni banking system has seen a rise at the end of December last year, reaching $8.328 million dollars, and the net foreign assets of the banking system by the end of November of last year was $8.46 billion.