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Bank treasurers blame cedi depreciation on increased retail demand

Nov. 29, 2016, 3:39 p.m.

Treasury units of commercial banks have attributed the current marginal depreciation of the cedi to an increase demand by retailers ahead of the festive season. 

According to them, the need for retailers to meet their payment obligations has increased demand without an equal measure in supply of dollars. 

“For the past two weeks, the cedi has come under intense pressure both on the interbank foreign exchange and forex bureaus, but most of the demand has come from the retail side. As people start selling their goods for Christmas, they are able to pay for them, especially for those traders deferred payments due to letters of credit granted them,” the General Manager for Treasury at HFC Bank, Joseph Nketsiah told Citi Business News. 

The cedi has been depreciating for the past few days despite being stable for quite a long time this year. The latest summary of economic figures released by the Bank of Ghana shows that the cedi has depreciated by 4.6 percent [3 cedis 98 pesewas] against the dollar as at 17th November 2016. 

This represents a surge from the 0.9 [3 cedis 83 pesewas] percent in March this year. 

As at Monday, November 28, 2016, the cedi was selling for 3 cedis 98 pesewas on the interbank forex market and over 4 cedis 10 pesewas at forex bureaus across the country. 

Joseph Nketsia further disagreed with suggestions that the general elections could be blamed for the marginal depreciation of the currency. 

He was however optimistic that the cedi will not cross 4 cedis to a dollar on the interbank market end of year. 

“We are left with just about five weeks to the end of the year as such; I do not expect the interbank average to go beyond 4 cedis,” he stated. 

Though the cedi has been depreciating against the Euro between the eight months period, the rate has since declined from 4.5 percent in March 2016 [4 cedis 35 pesewas] to 2.4 percent [4 cedis 26 pesewas]. 

Meanwhile the figures released by the Bank of Ghana show that the cedi has rather been appreciating compared to the British Pound. 

The figure has inched up from 1.8 percent [5 cedis 53 pesewas] in March 2016, to 13.7 [4 cedis 95 pesewas] as at November 17, 2016.