South Sudan mobile carriers hung up on devalued currency

South Sudan mobile carriers hung up on devalued currency
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Published December 27th, 2015 - 08:42 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Mobile phone companies operating in South Sudan have increased charges
Mobile phone companies operating in South Sudan have increased charges

Mobile phone companies operating in South Sudan have increased charges in the wake of last week's devaluation of the South Sudanese Pound.

One of South Sudan's largest mobile phone network providers - Zain (ST) MTN and Vivacell mobile phone companies said changes take immediate effect.

“Dear customer, due to currency devaluation all rates have been change,” read a text message Vivacell mobile communication company sent to its clients this week.

A similar was also sent out by Mobile Telecommunication giants, MTN on Tuesday.

Last week, South Sudan's central bank and ministry of finance allowed free floating of the local currency against the United States dollars, a move to reduce government deficit and reduce the gap between the official exchange rate and black market exchange rates.

The Central Bank used to sell a USD at 2.9SSP, but trade at a rate 18.5SSP in the black market. Due to scarcity of hard currencies government generates from oil sales due to low global oil prices and reduced production, the finance ministry resorted to borrowing from the Central Bank by printing money each month thus weakening the local currency.

Several economic experts, however, welcomed the devaluation of the pounds, but hiking prices of commodities and transport fares has triggered sharp criticism from citizens.

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