Business News of 2014-01-28

Shortage of dollars hits commercial banks

Some of the country's biggest commercial banks say they do not have enough dollars to aid their operations. The banks attribute the serious short fall to limited supply of the currency by the Bank of Ghana.

Some of the banks tell Joy Business most of their dollar requests sent to the Bank have not been met. The commercial banks say the situation is so bad that they currently have difficulties in transferring dollars on behalf of their clients in Ghana to other banks outside the country.

The situation has also affected most businesses that need the dollars for their transaction. A commodity trading firm tells Joy Business they had to turn to the black market for supply of dollars. "I am able to get about 50 thousand dollars when I go to the black market.”

A bulk oil distributor also tells Joy Business the current difficulty has affected their import of petroleum products. This could lead to trading move out of the banking system, and would make it difficult for the Bank of Ghana to adequately check dollar circulation in the country.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana has however assured that it has enough dollars to meet the demands of the commercial banks and businesses. A source at the Bank of Ghana tells Joy Business they have enough reserves that would last for about three months of import cover.

The source however adds that as regulators, they need to manage the situation well so that the country's reserve is not depleted sharply. The source further stated that the situation has come about because most of the banks are putting in request that they actually do not need.

"Some have doubled their request and we have also seen it; that is why we are taking our time in responding to their request." If the situation is not addressed quickly, it could have serious implications for the economy.

Source: myjoyonline.com
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