Bank holdings of forex up


08-July-2004

According to the Foreign Exchange Controller, Ahmed Afif, in the period 2000 to 2001 commercial banks held roughly R550 million, a figure which now stands at around R900 million.

But Mr Afif, who is also the principal secretary of the Ministry of Economic Planning, said that the hike has come about as a result of stricter measures compelling forex earners to bank their money.

"I think the main reason is because people in the (tourism) trade who were invoicing in hard currency have now been obliged to bring the hard currency, first into the country, second into the commercial banks," said Mr Afif.

Responding to a suggestion that foreign exchange holdings had been bolstered by the fact that a number of airlines are no longer accepting rupees for Seychelles flights Mr Afif denied that this was the case, but added, "we are not saying that the measure has brought in more forex into the country, but that it has brought it into the commercial banks."

However he added that he felt there had been an increase in forex coming into the country, notably through tourism, despite the fall in visitor numbers.
"We have suffered in some cases, for instance in fishing we think we could have done much better, but these are things that will evolve over time," he said.

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