Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Currency Rates Sell Differently in Coup-Run Aden, Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An emblem of the Central Bank of Yemen is seen on the bank’s gate in Sanaa August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Jeddah- Yemeni riyal is reportedly being exchanged at different rates across local banks. The national currency is selling at different prices in Sana’a than rates in Aden, not to mention the most flagrant difference on exchange rate being registered at the black market.

The popularity of the Yemeni currency weakened in insurgency-held areas, as the central bank faces difficulties in unifying the official monetary policy across the country.

The Yemeni riyal’s exchange prices registered a significant increase against the dollar, with the U.S. dollar standing up for 332 Yemeni riyals for purchase and 343 riyals for sale in Sana’a– dollar exchange rates in Aden reached 330 riyals for purchase and 335 riyals for sale, banking sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The average price of the Saudi riyal is 86 Yemeni riyals for purchase and 89 riyals for sale in Sana’a, while Yemeni riyal showed an improvement in the provisional capital, increasing a noteworthy two points.

Head of the Center for Economic and Media Studies in Yemen Mustafa Nasr says that the fluctuating exchange rates in part is caused by the central bank’s lack of ability with imposing a unified monetary policy across various regions in Yemen.

He added that the inability to impose a cohesive monetary policy is normal given that the country is currently being ripped apart by an armed coup led by Iran-aligned Houthi militias.

Speaking on necessary measures fixing rates, Nasr believes that the government needs to intervene through the country’s central bank in order to support the national currency.

Nasr says that legitimate authorities ought to push against the black market, provide a safe foreign exchange market and protect dealings from illegal acts. More so, a deposit that can meet demand must be ensured.

It is noteworthy that the central bank in Aden decided in its meeting last week that exchange rates settle at 300 riyals to the dollar in short dealings, and 305 riyals in the event of long-term dealings.