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Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Sudan names new central bank chief as inflation soars

AFP , Sunday 16 Sep 2018
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Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday named a former finance official as central bank governor, a day after a new cabinet was sworn in tasked with curbing soaring inflation.

Mohamed Khair al-Zubair, an ex-minister of state for finance who already served as central bank governor between 2011 and 2013, was appointed by presidential order, Bashir's office said.

The bank had been left without a governor since June 16 after its previous chief, Hazem Abdelqader, died of a heart attack while on a visit to Turkey.

The central bank has been grappling with an acute shortage of foreign currency at a time of soaring inflation that touched nearly 68 percent in August.

The Sudanese currency has plunged, trading on Sunday at 42 pounds to the US dollar on the black market, compared to the official rate of 28.

The central bank has devalued the pound twice against the greenback since January.

Bashir sacked Sudan's 31-member cabinet last week over its failure to tackle an economic crisis that has deteriorated since the south split from the north in 2011, taking with it about 75 percent of oil revenues.

On Saturday, a streamlined 21-member government took the oath of office, with Prime Minister Moutaz Mousa Abdallah also assuming the finance portfolio.

The economic crisis has worsened despite Washington lifting a decades-old embargo on the African country last October.

*This story has been edited by Ahram Online.

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