By Oliver Kazunga
Close to 800 companies have benefited from the weekly Foreign Currency Auction Trading System where a total of US$639,5 million has been allotted since the introduction of the platform in June last year.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) revealed this in its latest list of companies that have benefitted from the Foreign Currency Auction Trading System.
The list indicates that 788 large corporates and Small to Medium Enterprises in different productive sectors of the economy have secured forex from the auction system to import critical raw materials and equipment.
“Pursuant to the publication of the list of the top 100 beneficiaries under the Foreign Exchange Auction System on 16 March 2021, the bank has found it necessary and in the public interest to publish hereunder an additional list of entities that have benefited from the foreign exchange auctions for the period 23 June 2020 to 28 February 2021,” said the Reserve Bank.
The auction platform was introduced last year to improve the productive sector’s accessibility to foreign currency for the procurement of critical raw materials.
Companies participating at the auction system have also been able to procure essential and strategic imports such as pharmaceuticals and chemicals, fuel and electricity.
Topping the list of the forex auction market beneficiaries is Cangrow Trading (Pvt) Ltd securing US$12 million while Bulawayo-based agro-industrial processing firm, United Refineries Limited is on 11th position having been allotted US$5 million.
Other beneficiaries include Industrial Chemical Importers, Unilever Zimbabwe, Cairns Foods, Olivine Industries, Dendairy Limited, Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited, Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company, and Africa Steel (Pvt) Ltd, Zimbabwe Silicates Holdings, Reinforced Steel Contractors Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, Engen Petroleum Zimbabwe, Mega Market Milling.
Of late, export earnings have been the main source of funds for the auction through voluntary liquidations and the surrender requirements on exports and domestic foreign currency transactions.
Meanwhile, US$35 million was allocated at this week’s auction system to companies on both the SMEs and main auction with the local currency marginally weakening to $84,11 from $83,98 last week against the United States dollar. A majority of the allotted funds was for the importation of raw materials at just over US$12,8 million while machinery and equipment accounted for over US$7,5 million.