26 institutions have so far been licensed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to operate as Bureaux de Change (BDC) according to a story in the Daily News. This is in line with the Monetary Policy Statement that was announced recently.

The Bureaux de Change that have been licensed according to an RBZ notice are Fredex Financial Services, Getbucks Microfinance Bank, MyCash Financial Services, Access Finance (Pvt) Ltd, FMC Finance (Pvt) Ltd, Transformation Financial Services, Elizabeth Florist (Pvt) Ltd t/a TSD Bureau de Change, Zimbabwe Posts (Private) Limited, Kwik Forex, Stalrett (Pvt) Ltd and Quest Financial Services (Pvt) Ltd.

The others are Proex Bureau de Change, Zimexpress (Pvt) Ltd, Fungioliv Investments, Campion Forex Services t/a Hand2hand Transfers, Direct Connect Financial Services, Julism (Pvt) Ltd, Success Micro-Finance Bank Limited, Send Money Home (Pvt) Ltd, Kuva Sanchez, Sahara Forex Bureau (Pvt) Ltd, Express Financial Services, Easylink Money Transfers (Pvt) Ltd, Linsa Investments t/a bate Bureau de Change and Kaah Financial Services.

Bureaux de Change are allowed to sell a maximum of US$10 000 or its equivalent daily. They are also allowed to keep a daily float of not more than US$20 000 cash in the vault per branch. It must be noted that foreign currency shortages are still a challenge despite the fact that the interbank market has been operational for about a month now. Some companies have already expressed frustration after failing to access enough forex through the system. Whether or not the opening of Bureaux de Change will ease pressure on the banks remains to be seen.

From a starting rate of 2.5 to the US Dollar, the RTGS Dollar has lost considerable value and is now around 1:3 to the greenback. This has resulted in some sections of society doubting if the interbank market will solve our forex problems. We wait to see what effect the opening of the Bureaux de Change will have on the economy.