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Congo central bank to sell foreign currency on the market

By on October 20, 2016

Democratic Republic of Congo’s central bank said on Wednesday it has increased the percentage of deposits banksmust keep with it and plans to intervene in foreign exchange markets to prop up the franc currency and contain accelerating inflation.

In a statement, the central bank said it had raised mandatory reserve requirements for domestic banks from 10 to 13 percent for short-term deposits and from 9 to 12 percent for long-term deposits.

It said the central bank would sell foreign currency on the market to further support the franc “if the economic fundamentals require it”.

The bank has intervened repeatedly this year to support the franc, which has depreciated by more than 27 percent against the U.S. dollar on the parallel market to around 1,191 per dollar. Its official exchange rate was 1,086 per dollar last Friday.

The slumping economy comes amid political tensions over a delayed presidential election and the extension of President Joseph Kabila’s term in office until elections in April 2018.

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