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A Zimbabwean street vendor sorts new coins in front of a bank in Harare, December 18, 2014. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya introduced the new "bond coins" in December 2014. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

#Zimbabwe prints more bond coins

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says bond coins valued at $9 million have since been collected for distribution by various banks to date, representing a 90 percent uptake for the special money.

RBZ introduced the bond coins in December last year to provide smaller denominations for the multi-currency regime and correct the pricing for goods and services in the country.

In an interview, RBZ Deputy Governor Dr Charity Dhliwayo said the central bank is now considering minting a second tranche of the special coins due to their popularity.

“Bond coins valued at $9 million have since been collected from the Reserve Bank for distribution. The coins are now very, very popular; everyone is now using bond coins. I believe the demand will continue to grow, we are now contemplating minting a second tranche of coins,” she said.

The bond coins are part of the $50 million facility that RBZ arranged for the purpose of providing the coins with intrinsic value. The bond coins are in denominations of 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c and 50c.

The initial amount of $10 million coins translates to just below 2 percent of total bank deposits. Under normal circumstances, the proportion of coins to money in circulation in an economy is between 20 and 25 percent.

However, due to the fact that Zimbabwe is using multiple currencies, the bond coins are expected to remain below 10 percent of total bank deposits.

The lack of coins in the economy had contributed to the overpricing of commodities and forced consumers to overspend as a result of the lack of change. The coins have since assisted in the restoration of proper pricing models and alleviation of problems associated with lack of change, issuance of change vouchers and change in the form of unwanted goods.

Meanwhile, local banks have so far converted $4 million worth of old Zimbabwean dollar notes under the Government’s demonetisation programme which commenced on June 15 this year, latest figures show.

Under the programme, whose aim is to remove the legal status of the Zimbabwean dollar currency and runs till September 30, Government has set aside a budget of $20 million.

The local currency ceased to be legal tender when the country adopted use of multi-currencies in 2009 to tame runaway inflation that had ravaged its value. — Wires.

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