Saudi to bankroll Sudan to overcome economic crisis

Sudan will be given cheap Saudi gasoline oil, loans to purchase wheat via the Kingdom and foreign currency reserves worth billions of dollars to help prop up its ailing economy, Sudan’s Governor of the Central Bank (SCB) revealed today.

Details of the Saudi rescue package were announced following a meeting between the governor of the Bank of Sudan and the economic team of the ruling National Congress Party. It includes a deal for Saudi Arabia to sell Sudanese goods under an agreed pricing structure and for Saudi to give Sudan gasoline payable in instalments beginning in five years’ time.

The agreements were personally approved by Saudi’s King Salman during President Al-Bashir’s recent visit to the Kingdom and mean that Khartoum will also be financed to purchase grain over a ten-year period through a loan re-payable at the end of the period.

In addition, a total of $10 billion will be deposited in cash in to the Central Bank in the form of a $5 billion loan given by the Arab Investment Company in Bahrain and a further $5 billion in guarantees and pledges of external funding.

As from Sunday, the Central Bank (SCB) has confirmed that it will launch the process of pumping foreign currency to commercial banks to meet import requests of $32 million per month.

The SCB has also confirmed that new tariffs would be set for the import of medical supplies which will reduce the cost of medicines in Sudan by 37 per cent and proposed rises to the raw material cost of manufacturing sectors will be delayed for up to a four-month period.

SCB’s governor said new rules favourable to Sudanese expatriates abroad and agreed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be announced in a joint press conference on Sunday but no information of the new arrangements was given.

Sudan economic fortunes have been on the decline since the decision by South Sudan to separate taking 75 per cent of the oil wealth away from Khartoum. Inflation is currently running at over 30 per cent per month.



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