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IMF Praises Zimbabwe’s Gold-Backed Currency Initiative

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has highlighted Zimbabwe’s recent introduction of a gold-backed fiat currency as a noteworthy policy measure. This statement marks the IMF’s first significant commentary on the currency since its inception. The global financial institution has also announced its intention to send a team in June to assess the new currency’s performance.

IMF’s Initial Concerns and Current Perspective on Zimbabwe’s Currency Reforms

The gold-backed currency, referred to as ZIG, has been recognized by the IMF as an “important policy step.” This acknowledgment came as the IMF shared plans to evaluate the currency in the upcoming months. According to reports, the IMF’s comments represent its most comprehensive assessment of Zimbabwe’s new currency since the ZIG was launched over a month ago. This perspective appears to differ from the IMF’s earlier criticisms regarding the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) introduction of a gold-backed digital currency.

Previously, as reported, the IMF had expressed concerns about the RBZ’s decision to launch a gold-backed digital currency. The global lender argued that this move could threaten financial stability. Instead, the IMF recommended that Zimbabwe should focus on liberalizing its foreign exchange market rather than pursuing the digital currency route.

Despite these initial reservations, the IMF, in a recent email response, praised the RBZ for implementing several key reforms, including the introduction of the ZIG. The Bretton Woods institution stated,

“The introduction of the ZIG represents an important policy action, complemented by several other policy changes, including monetary, exchange rate, and fiscal policy measures.”

In related news, Bloomberg reported that the ZIG, which initially traded at slightly over ZIG13.56 per dollar at its launch, achieved its highest value of ZIG13.21 per dollar on May 23. This development highlights the currency’s potential impact on Zimbabwe’s financial landscape.

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