Ghana’s cedi weakened to a record as the central bank set limits on foreign-exchange transactions and ordered sales and purchases be done in the local currency, in a bid to halt the second-worst decline among African currencies this year.
Investors are awaiting evidence that Zambia’s efforts to shore up its currency will succeed as the government starts marketing a Eurobond, sub-Saharan Africa’s first sovereign international debt sale this year.
The second-best dollar-bond rally in Africa this month is signaling growing speculation that Ghana will seek aid from the International Monetary Fund as the government struggles to close its budget deficit.
The naira fell to its lowest level since April as Nigeria’s newly appointed central bank governor said policy makers may begin cutting record-high interest rates for the first time in almost three years.
Seidu Haruna, the owner of a licensed foreign-exchange bureau in the capital of Ghana, says the central bank’s clampdown on dollar sales to prop up the domestic currency will hurt business, as it drives customers to black-market traders in an alley around the corner.
The Bank of Zambia called an emergency meeting with lenders to probe a drop in the nation’s currency to a record against the dollar, two weeks after Ghana limited foreign-currency sales to halt a slide in the cedi.