Buyers face difficulty as currency exchangers withhold dollars

People seeking to buy US dollars have faced difficulty in recent weeks because exchange counters in local banks have refused to sell US dollars at the market rate, instead keeping them with the expectation that their value will soon increase.

“I tried to buy some dollars for my trip abroad this morning. I couldn’t get any. I went to some money changers as well. They were not selling any because the authorities are monitoring the black market. Finally, I bought some from my friends,” one buyer said.

The authorities have been arresting black market speculators since June 12. The exchange rate seems to have stabilised after authorities began taking action against speculators. The price of US dollars has been rising for the last several months.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) adopted a managed float for its currency in April 2012 and released daily exchange rates. It granted exchange licences to private banks in September 2011 and granted authorised dealer licences to non-banking institutions in December 2012, allowing them to open exchange counters.

An official from the CBM’s foreign exchange management department said: “Fluctuation in the exchange rate is common. But now the fact that the exchange counters don’t sell dollars is meaningless, according to the nature of market. They will have to buy and sell dollars at the appropriate prices. They keep dollars in their hands without selling them. This is a clear message that the value of the dollar will increase. The dollar price should depend on market conditions. We will scrutinise it.”

Source: Eleven Media

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