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Zimbabwe’s central bank has released 2,000 gold coins into the market.
It hopes the coins will act as a store of value and reduce demand for US dollars in the country struggling with soaring inflation.
Addressing journalists on Monday, central bank governor John Mangudya said the Mosi-Oa-Tunya coin, named after the Victoria Falls, will be available for sale to the public from July 25 for $1,823 each (about R30,439).
“This is the first batch of Mosi-Oa-Tunya gold coins into the market. Local agents commenced selling the gold coins on an agent basis at the initial price of $1,823 using the willing-buyer-willing-seller selling rate as at Friday.
“The coins can also be purchased in different currencies, including the rand, Botswana pula, pound, Australia dollar and euro.
“From July 26 the bank will publish the Mosi-Oa-Tunya gold coin price by 8am daily. It will be based on the previous day’s London Bullion Market Association PM fix (afternoon), plus 5% to cover the cost of production and distribution of the coins.”
The coins will also be sold through commercial banks and subsidiaries, with smaller denomination gold coins introduced later, said Mangudya.
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate has soared to 191% with skyrocketing food prices and a weakened local currency.
Financial analyst Kudzanai Sharara told TimesLIVE the gold coins are not for ordinary Zimbabweans but for “those who are cash-rich and wanting to buy into gold”.
“These coins have a target market, especially when you look at the price. They are for cash-rich institutions and individuals with access to local dollars,” said Sharara.
Harare-based street vendor Portia Chigwadi said it is unimaginable to think about buying gold coins.
“I am struggling to feed my family. l don’t even have money to meet basic needs such as groceries. We live hand-to-mouth.”
In a tweet, government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said the gold coins are not meant to solve individual financial problems.
“Mosi-Oa-Tunya is a saving option for those who want to store value. It is not a silver bullet for our individual cash-related challenges and financial problems.”
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.