Yemeni Riyal Depreciates Again, 607 riyals to buy one dollar

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Tue 24 September 2019:

The Yemeni riyal exchange rate has once again depreciated, now trading at 602 against the US dollar.

Traders said it cost as much as 607 riyals to buy one dollar in the black market on Sunday and 602 to sell.

Meanwhile, the riyal stood at 450 per dollar at the daily benchmark set by the Yemeni central bank compared to 215 riyals to the dollar before the start of the crisis, four years ago.

The spiraling depreciation, which prompted major hikes in food prices, is mainly due to the shortage in foreign currency, according to member of the Yemeni Central Bank board of directors, Sharaf al-Fudai.

“There is a lack of incoming financial resources provided from the export of oil. Now, Yemen receives only 15 percent of the money it generated from oil exports before the start of the war, while the gas export has completely stopped,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He explained that the depreciation of the riyal is also due to the scarce financial resources provided to the country from the loans and grants, and the freeze of several projects, which are funded by foreign parties.

Fudai said that Saudi Arabia played a leading role in improving the riyal exchange rate, as the Kingdom’s deposit helped cover the expenses of basic imports.

Last year, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz ordered that $2 billion be deposited in Yemen’s central bank to shore up the weak currency.

In this regard, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi has stressed the imperative of curbing the devaluation of the riyal by preventing money exchangers from currency speculation and other malpractices.

During a meeting over the weekend with the governor of the central bank and Finance Minister, Hadi emphasized the need to unify efforts to overcome the challenges in the country’s banking sector and achieve economic recovery.

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