National Bank of Angola concerned about high demand for foreign currency

19 July 2012

The National Bank of Angola has kept the limit of US$100,000 unchanged for transfers abroad as up front payment for goods and services, Angolan weekly newspaper Expansão reported, noting that offenders would be penalised.

The decision to keep the figure, which has been in place for several years, unchanged was reiterated last week with the introduction of penalties for offenders, as the National Bank of Angola looks into the reasons behind “strong pressure” on transferring currency out of the country.

At a seminar on “Foreign Exchange Operations” aimed at senior staff of banks, the Ministry of Trade and the National Customs Service, the central bank said it was concerned about the situation.

“Since 2008, and coinciding with the international financial crisis, we have seen strong pressure for currency to leave (the country),” said the deputy governor of the BNA, António André Lopes.

Three times a week, commercial banks buy between US$300 million and US$350 million from the BNA at currency auctions to then sell it to importing agents. However in the week of 2 to 6 July currency sales totalled US$458 million.

The policy of reducing domestic economic dependence on the US dollar require economic agents to sell their products in national currency (the kwanza), in transactions carried out within Angola.

Amongst the penalties for those who break these rules, the BNA stops the commercial bank from taking part in currency auctions, whilst economic agents will have their names and those of their companies made public. (macauhub)