. . as $9,4m bond coins are now in circulation

HARARE - About $9,4 million worth of bond coins are presently circulating in the Zimbabwean financial system, after the country pumped over $6 million worth of the coins since September last year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said.

With circulation of bond notes — backed by a $200 million Afreximbank facility and pegged at par with the United States dollar (US$) — beginning today, the central bank is quickly approaching its $10 million bond coin ceiling.

In its report for September, RBZ said the value of coins in circulation had increased from the $8,5 million recorded in August to close September at $9,4 million.

When the coins were introduced last year in September, $3,5 million were in circulation with the value progressively increasing to $4,4 million in October, $5,7 million November, $7,1 million as at December 2015.

In January 2016, bond coins valued at $7,3 million were in circulation, and the figure came to $7,4 million in February. At the close of the first quarter in March 2016, bond coins valued at $7,6 million were in circulation while April saw $7,7 million worth of bond coins in the system.

In May, the coins pegged at $8 million found themselves in the system as the figure went up to $8,1 million in June as $8,2 million worth of the coins were recorded for July.

The RBZ has said the coins will be maintained below 10 percent of the banking deposits which currently stand at around $5 billion as the 1c, 5c, 10c and 20c coins are part of a five-year $50 million bond that government secured to give them value.

The country ditched its local currency in favour of foreign currencies in January 2009 after hyper-inflation reached 500 billion percent. Zimbabweans have been sceptical about the bond notes and coins.

Ecuador is another country that uses the greenback as its currency and has special coins, which have the same denomination and value as US coins. Panama also uses the Panamanian balboa, a bond coin equivalent.

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