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Harare Central Bank Lets Seven Money Transfer Agencies Reopen

Reversing a controversial decision, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon on Friday authorized the reopening of seven of 16 money transfer agencies he closed in October amid accusations they were 16 Money Transfer Agencies he shut down in October amid accusations they were flouting the country’s currency regulations.

Gono issued an order Friday reinstating NMB bank, Stanbic bank, Fredex Financial Services, CFX, Barnfords and Pacific. The new licences are valid for only one year – the RBZ said it would closely monitor compliance throughout that period.

Experts said closing the transfer agencies hurt the financial system and the currency because they were a main channel for hard currency to enter Zimbabwe. Countless Zimbabweans living abroad send remittances to relatives through such firms.

Following the closure of the agencies, the interbank foreign exchange market posted a 17.7% decline in hard currency sales from September to October, when they totaled US$13.5 million, and a 10.5% fall in foreign exchange purchases to US$15.3 million.

Economist James Jowa told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Harare’s economic policies are discouraging investment inflows.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...