Zambian Kwacha Becomes Best-Performing Currency Amid Government Reforms

Updated:

The Zambian kwacha (ZMW) has snatched the title of best-performing currency in the world from the Russian Ruble (RUB). The single currency currently trades at K15.45 against the dollar (USD) after jumping on the news that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had approved a $1.3 billion bailout for the East African country. The currency now sits on a year-to-date (YTD) gain of over 18.25%.

Zambian Kwacha Jumps Following IMF Bailout

A report by Bloomberg showed that news of the bailout approval from the IMF to the tune of $1.3 billion prompted a 3.1% rally in the kwacha in a single day. Zambian government officials and President Hakainde Hichilema (HH) assert that the gains recorded in the currency and the recent bailout were testaments that the new administration’s policies were performing well.

Commenting on the bailout reports, HH narrated:

“I didn’t go to bed until the IMF board passed the Zambia issue. Minutes later, the MD [Kristalina Georgieva] herself sent me a message: HH, it’s done.”

Joseph Kalimbwe, a spokesman for the government, explained in a tweet that while the currency was performing exceptionally well, the “country still has a long way to go.”

Speaking to local reporters, economist Patrick Chileshe noted that he suspects the kwacha’s bullish performance is tied to the low demand for dollars and aggressive central bank interventions. Chileshe further noted:

“We have seen the Kwacha gain strength, and that was driven by increased foreign exchange supply to the market by the Bank of Zambia, which was consistent in the market, whereas the demand for US dollars has been low, and that led to the appreciation of the Zambian kwacha.”

Apart from helping the ZMW become the best-performing currency, the administration’s policy is believed to have triggered the drop in inflation from 24% in August 2021 to 9.8% by June this year.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.