THE ROLE OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF SUDAN IN DEVELOPMENT FINANCING

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1 THE ROLE OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF SUDAN IN DEVELOPMENT FINANCING The Central Bank of Sudan commenced business in Its role, like that of other central banks, is set to include the achievement of monetary and financial stability through contributing to the realization of positive and sustainable rates of GDP growth, maintaining low rates of inflation, stability of the exchange rate and development and organization of the banking system so as to perform its role in contributing to achieve economic development by mobilizing resources to the various economic sectors. The Central Bank works toward attaining these objectives through formulation and implementation of the following policies: monetary, financing; foreign exchange and exchange rate; banking development, supervision, and payment systems. The following is a succinct summary of what the Central Bank of Sudan has implemented in terms of the above mentioned issues: First: Monetary and Financing Policy The Central Bank of Sudan initiated its monetary policy since The policies devoted special attention for directing finance to the productive sectors and stirring up these sectors through the provision of production inputs and other requirements and prohibition of financing to the nonpriority, marginal sectors. Furthermore, these policies showed concern for the geographical distribution of finance by making it available to the rural areas through obligating the banks to utilize 50% of the deposits to extend finance within the locality of operation of the bank s branch and to encourage the geographical spread of banks for the purpose of raising awareness of the public. In addition, group financing was adopted through forming consortiums for financing productive projects whose requirements exceed the capabilities of the banks. In this regard, the Central Bank extends investment finance to shudder up the banks financing capacities in a bid to develop the productive sectors, particularly those with high risks (the agricultural sector), in addition to raising the capital of the existing.

2 Development Banks, besides facilitating of the establishment of new ones. In order to cope with liberalizing the banking operations and to sterilize its negative impact on the productive sectors, the Central Bank pursued a policy of extending incentives and encouraging the banks to finance the priority sectors, beside its coordination with the Ministry of Finance and other local external parties to alleviate poverty. the year 2006, the Central Bank of Sudan set up a Micro Finance Unit in the context of the Government Plan for alleviating the intensity of poverty. The Unit issues guidelines for regulating the institutions that extend micro finance, including the Family Bank (2009), the Savings and Social Development Bank, in addition to the micro finance units in other banks. The banks were directed to allocate 12% of their financing portfolios in the year to micro and small finance. Also, the policy encouraged the micro finance units to use non-conventional guarantees, such as group lending and utilize the resources of social funds and Zakat, in providing guarantees to the weak segment targeted by micro finance. In pursuit of reinforcing the role of the Central Bank in achieving development, the priority sectors were expanded to include the social services such as electricity, water and health in the rural areas (finance of a social dimension). Second: Foreign Exchange Policies The Central Bank has regulated the foreign exchange market through unification and liberalization of the market; activation of its role in building of foreign exchange reserves through expansion of exports, foreign direct investment and facilitating inflow transfers. The Bank continue in liberalizing the current account operations; provision of adequate resources for its stabilization; The inter-banks market was encouraged by setting up of market makers groups in the area of foreign exchange to reinforce the role of banks and activate the market forces; A number of exchange companies was licensed. Regarding export promotion, some procedures was adopted such as abolition of the Customs Declaration. This is in addition to management, follow up and monitoring of foreign flows in order to neutralize their adverse effects on monetary policy and ensure their positive contribution to the econcomy. 2

3 With regard to the exchange rate policy, the Central bank has adopted a policy which aims at maintaining the flexibility and stability of the exchange rate through the adoption of the Managed Float Exchange Rate system and work toward its stability in order to achieve internal and external equilibrium and maintain the value of the national currency. Concerning the policies taken by the Central Bank to mitigate the adverse effects of the current global financial crisis, a number of policies were introduced to reduce demand for foreign exchange including: raising the cash margin for importation by 100% for all payment methods, with the exception of industrial and agricultural production inputs; deferred payment importation of one or more than one year; and, restrictions on the uses of foreign exchange in the banks and exchange companies. On the supply side, the Central Bank encourages the non-oil exports through the following: Removal of restrictions on the export account and the use of its recourses were permissible for all purposes, except for clean transfers and transfers to the free account. Permission to sell export proceeds which flow in after six months period to the banks instead of the Central Bank of Sudan. Contribution to the establishment of the National Agency for Insurance and Finance of Exports and encouragement of the banks to make use of its services. Regular consultation and coordination with the Ministry of Finance and the Private Sector with regard to the monetary, and the foreign exchange policies. Participation in fairs abroad through clarification of policies and measures, response as well as queries related to direct foreign investment, for instance capital registration, concessions, incentives, and remittance of profits of capital invested in the country to abroad, and the modality for obtaining finance from the local banks. 3

4 Third: Banking and Supervisory Policies On this aspect, the Central Bank implemented the Banks Restructuring Program to reform their financial and management situations, strengthen their financial positions and increase their capital through mergers and bank alliances which are expected to lead to the existence of big banking entities capable of competing internally and externally that will lure foreign investment to the banking sphere. A number of foreign banks and substantial capital funds entered the Sudan. These policies also contributed to upgrading and development of the banks infrastructure and diversification of the banking institutions and services. On the side of supervision, the Central Bank accomplished the activation of the role of banking supervision by focusing on prudential supervision and application of the Basel I&11 standards through the standards of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). Preparations are underway for applying the Basel 1II standards. Moreover, the Central Bank has utilized the Electronic Enquiry Mechanism for control and supervision purposes. The banks have at their disposal the possibility of using the data base that will enable them to know the obligations of clients toward the other banks for assisting in assessing the creditworthiness of the client before granting him the requested finance. Also, the Central Bank initiated the implementation of the Credit Coding System in mid 2008 which is considered to be one of the most important arrangements adopted by the Central Bank, at present, with the aim of obtaining a significant portion of demographic data about clients of the banking system by focusing on finance requesting clients in the present stage. A notable benefit of this system is that the bank can apply, through it, the principle of (know your customer) for taking the appropriate decision upon extending finance. As for risk management, the Finance Risk Information Unit was set up in 2003 and was upgraded to the Risk Directorate in 2006, with the aim of identifying the source of risk, measuring the probability of its occurrence, determining the magnitude of its impact on revenues, income and assets, assessing the expected effect on the bank s activities, and work toward mitigating the impact or eliminating the sources of risk. In this regard, banks managements were directed to complete the structure of the Risk Directorate which has among other functions, to study and analyze clients risks according to the information available to it on the client and to make a 4

5 recommendation on the basis of the assessment results. Regarding the banking technology, the banks were connected through the Electronic Network to the Central bank and with theirs branches. The Electronic Clearance System was adopted in the Capital City and in some States. Also, the use of Electronic Payment methods was introduced as well as that of the ATM through the National Payment Switch System; moreover the Real Time Gross Settlement System was established. In general, it can be said that policies of the Central Bank have led to the increase in banks resources such as deposits and capital, also reasonable progress has done in restructuring banks and number of foreign banks branches was entered. This has contributed to the achievement of banking soundness and improved banking performance which will result in an increase in banking finance, rendering other banking services and positive contribution to revival of the productive sectors and improvement of the macro economic indicators. For further information related to the Central Bank of Sudan policies in addition to monetary, foreign and other macroeconomic indicators, please refer to THANK YOU. Mohamed Elhassan Moh Central Bank of Sudan 5

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