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Zimbabwe starts trading ‘new currency’

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Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty ImagesThe bond notes were introduced in 2016Image caption: The bond notes were introduced in 2016
By BBC World Service

Zimbabwe’s banks have started trading what is effectively a new local currency after the central bank ended its policy of tying the country’s own money to the US dollar.

The bond notes and electronic money have just been devalued by around 60% as the government seeks to lower inflation and stop US dollars being traded on the black market.

Bond notes were introduced in 2016 to make up for a US dollar cash shortage. Zimbabwe has been using US dollars after it abandoned its own currency in 2009 following a bout of hyper-inflation.

The bond notes were supposed to have the same value as the US dollar – but they have been trading on the black market at a much lower rate.

In theory, from Monday Zimbabweans will be able to go to banks to exchange their bond notes and electronic money for US dollars.

However with a serious shortage of dollars it is not clear how many will be available.

A recent fuel price increase led to protests which were broken up violently by the security forces.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: February 22, 2019 at 11:56AM

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