By Rohey Jadama
The exchange rates for major foreign currencies in the country continue to escalate in the face of a decrease in the value of the local currency, the Dalasi.
This development is said to be affecting the business operators including those engaged in foreign exchange dealing.
Visiting some of these operators in the vicinity of Serekunda Market, the foreign exchange dealers, who preferred anonymity, have admitted that the exchange rates for the foreign currencies are getting higher while the Dalasi is continuously decreasing in value and which, they said, is impacting negatively on their operations. According to them, they buy the foreign currencies at a cost that is very expensive. They claim that the banks are only willing to sell to them but not to buy from them and that they get the currencies at a cheaper rate and sell to them at a higher cost.
On the other challenges they face, the dealers decried the usual harassment they experience at the hands of the security, adding that they do not earn much from the trade.
This reporter has discovered that the exchange rate for the pound sterling at one of the banks at Westfield bank is D 67 when buying and D70 when selling; the US Dollar is D37.60 when buying and D40.25 when selling, while the Euro is bought at D55 and sold at D67.50
However, the foreign exchange dealers at the Serekunda market are selling the Pound Sterling at 71, the US Dollar at D42 or D43, the 5000 CFA franc is at D445 and the Euro is at D58.
Visiting a forex bureau at Churchill Town, the Pound Sterling is bought at D72 and sold at 72.75, US Dollar is bought at D41.50 and sold at D42, Euro bought at D56.50 and sold at D57.50, and the 5000 CFA is bought at D435 and sold at D440, while in another one at Westfield, the Pound Sterling is bought at D71.5 and sold at D73.1, the US Dollar is bought at D40.90 and sold at D42.90 and the Euro is bought at D56.60 and sold at D58.60
In comparison, the foreign exchange in July last year was D48 for the Pound Sterling at buying and D45 at selling, the US Dollar was D32 at buying and D31 at selling, the Euro was D40 at buying and D41 at selling and the 5000 CFA was bought at D300 and sold at D315.