Central Bank reviews policies, maintains lending rate at 12pc

Central Bank reviews policies, maintains lending rate at 12pc
The Central Bank of South Sudan outer view (photo credit: courtesy)

The South Sudan Central Bank Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) convened a meeting to tighten up monetary policies, which included maintaining the lending interest rate at 12 per cent.

The Wednesday meeting held in Juba was presided over by the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan, Johnny Ohisa Damian.

A statement from the Central Bank noted that the MPC focused on key monetary and banking policies that will guide economic activities in the country from January 1 to December 31, 2023. The policies were passed with an emphasis on the global and domestic economic environments and development.

“The MPC voted to build international reserves equivalent to approximately 4.5 months of import cover and to maintain the minimum reserve requirement ratio (RRR) at 20% of commercial bank deposits in both local and foreign currency,” according to the statement.

“Maintain the Central Bank’s interest rate CBR at 12 per cent per year,” according to the document, and “Sustain nominal broad money growth of around 11 per cent with a +/- per cent margin,” he said.  

Damian said the MPC unanimously “voted to maintain a tight stance on monetary policy in order to maintain a liquidity ratio of at least 20 per cent of local and foreign currency denominated deposits, as well as to encourage commercial banks to increase lending to the private sector to up to 40 per cent of their deposits.”

The 2023 monetary and banking policies are specifically “designed to provide optimal liquidity aimed at achieving and maintaining price and financial stability to support real GDP growth, as well as low and stable general price levels”.

The Central Bank boss noted in the statement: “The policies are also consistent with the macroeconomic policies outlined in South Sudan’s National Development Strategy (NDS) and Bank Strategic Plan 2023–2027, as well as the implementation of the peace and macroeconomic reform agenda by the revitalised transitional government of national unity (RTGoNU)”.

According to a document seen by The City Review, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) observed that the global economy is expected to slow down in 2023 amidst rising inflation, tightening financial conditions in most regions, attributed to the war in Ukraine.

“Rendering to the report, the Bank of South Sudan assures the public that the situation will remain under control as these policies are revised to reflect the current situation,” it noted.

“The bank will intervene with its direct and indirect monetary policy instruments that are available at its disposal.”

The bank further assures the citizens, and specifically the business fraternity, of its ability and commitment to sterilise the stubborn foreign exchange market.