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Zimbabwe Gets $961 Million in IMF Special Drawing Rights


FILE: Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube gestures during a media briefing in Harare, Zimbabwe, Oct. 5, 2018.

HARARE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government said on Tuesday it has received the equivalent of $961 million in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) from the International Monetary Fund, part of $650 billion the IMF is distributing to its members.

The IMF's largest-ever distribution of monetary reserves will provide additional liquidity for the global economy, supplementing member countries' foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt.

SDRs are reserve assets issued by the IMF, backed by dollars, euros, yen, sterling and yuan.

"The immediate effect of this support from the IMF is to increase the foreign exchange reserves position of the country by $961 million," Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and central bank governor John Mangudya said in a joint statement.

"This will go a long way in buttressing the stability of the domestic economy."

Zimbabwe reintroduced its currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, in 2019 after a decade of dollarisation. However, the local unit has struggled for stability amid deep foreign currency shortages in the economy.

The Zimbabwe dollar is officially trading at 86 against the U.S. dollar, but is significantly weaker, at 150 to the greenback, on a thriving black market. (Reporting by Nelson Banya; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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