CASH IS KING
It’s official: cash is on sale in Zimbabwe
Holders of $100 and $50 notes can sell them at a premium in Zimbabwe, underscoring a huge currency shortage despite bond notes being brought into circulation late last year
It’s official: cash is on sale in Zimbabwe. But not just any kind of cash — high-value denominations of the US dollar are the most sought-after notes on the market. Cash-starved and desperate foreign investors are paying a premium for $50 and $100 notes. Black market dealers are paying a cool 15%-20% premium for crisp Benjamin Franklins and about 10%-15% for $50 notes. This comes after central bank governor John Mangudya introduced bond notes to ease a cash crisis in November. The US dollar has become scarcer since then. But how does it work? Thanks to tight exchange-control regulations on foreign payments instituted by Mangudya last year, there is strong demand for high-value notes. The lucky holder of a $100 note will get up to $120 from a dealer in smaller US dollar denominations, such as the $20, $10, $5, $2 and even $1 notes. The sought-after denominations are then sold at a slightly higher rate, and quickly find their way to various destinations around the world. The Financial...