Zimbabwe inflation soars to 540% in February

Zimbabwean flag on top of crate full of money.PHOTO/GettyImages
A man poses with Zimbabwe’s new two-dollar banknotes as customers queue outside a bank in Harare.
Photo Courtesy: Reuters

Zimbabwe has suspended the transfer of local shares in dual-listed companies to foreign bourses, one of the main ways citizens and businesses have been able to obtain dollars as inflation wipes out the local currency.

Zimbabwe reintroduced a currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, last June, ending a decade of dollarization. But with no foreign or gold reserves to back it up, its value has plunged while inflation soared to an annual rate of 540.16% in February.

Foreign and Zimbabwean investors aiming to obtain foreign currency have been buying shares in Old Mutual, Pretoria Portland Cement and SeedCo on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and selling them on foreign exchanges.

Old Mutual and PPC are listed in Johannesburg while SeedCo is also listed in Botswana.