Foreign currencies are no longer acceptable as legal tender in Zimbabwe, with Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube saying Monday that the Zimbabwe dollar is now the only acceptable medium of exchange for local transactions.
Fear of recently-introduced bond notes and tight liquidity conditions have seen most Zimbabwean institutions and individuals pile their money into the equities market.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is set to introduce much-awaited bond notes into the market, through normal banking channels in small denominations of $2 and $5.
Standard Bank's unit in Zimbabwe, Stanbic Bank, has reversed updated terms made in preparation for the issuing of bond notes after a backlash from customers.
President Robert Mugabe has gazetted a new legal framework for the introduction of bond notes, seen by most Zimbabweans as a disastrous move for the economy.
Zimbabwe's bond notes have eased liquidity shortages but can't address macroeconomic imbalances, while further issuance of the currency will inflame inflationary pressures, says the World Bank.
Despite ready acceptance by vendors, Zimbabwean supermarkets such as Pick n Pay and OK Zimbabwe have rejected the newly-introduced bond notes in early trade.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has assured international airlines that acceptance of bond notes as a mode of payment will not affect repatriation of their funds.
Stanbic, Standard Bank's unit in Zimbabwe, is now telling depositors that it reserves the right to pay funds in currencies recognised as legal tender in the country.
The cash crisis in Zimbabwe has just gone up a notch as banks started giving out bond coins to depositors withdrawing cash, limited to either $50 or $100 per day.
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