Sudan receives first US dollar transfers since sanctions lifted

A cashier counts US Dollars as people wait to receive money inside Bab Al-Mandab Exchange transfer money bureau in Khartoum, Sudan on October 7, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2017
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Sudan receives first US dollar transfers since sanctions lifted

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s central bank said Wednesday it had received its first overseas fund transfer in US dollars since Washington announced the lifting of a 20-year-old trade embargo against Khartoum.
Washington last week announced the lifting of sanctions from this Thursday onward, saying Khartoum had made progress on conditions set for ending the embargo, in place since 1997.
“The transferring of American dollars has commenced after the lifting of sanctions,” Sudan’s official news agency SUNA said, quoting a statement from the Central Bank of Sudan.
“Yesterday, two Sudanese banks received overseas money transfers in US dollars, one from America and another from Europe,” it said, without specifying the amounts or the banks’ names.
Washington had imposed sanctions two decades ago over Khartoum’s alleged support for militant groups. It had slapped restrictions on international banking transactions and exchange of technology and spare parts, along with other trade barriers.
Sudan’s economy also suffered a body blow when the south split from the north in 2011 after a bitter civil war, taking with it the bulk of the country’s oil revenues.
Sudan’s currency has been volatile on the black market since Washington’s announcement.
Previously valued at 21.50 to the dollar, the Sudanese pound strengthened to 18.50 in the aftermath of Washington’s announcement.
It was trading at 20 to the dollar on Wednesday.
“The news that Sudanese banks have received US dollar transfers has not impacted the currency market so far,” a forex trader said.
Sudan’s central bank has kept the pound’s official rate at 6.7 to the dollar, but the currency had slumped significantly on the black market in recent months.
The weakening of the pound has bumped inflation up to around 35 percent.
Washington last week said Khartoum had made progress on maintaining a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas, giving aid workers access to such zones and cooperating with US intelligence agencies to fight “terrorism.”


“No-deal” Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

Updated 24 September 2018
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“No-deal” Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

LONDON: Leaving the European Union without a proper divorce deal could ground airlines, stop hauliers from lugging goods to the world’s biggest trading bloc and even make headaches for pet owners who want to take their dogs on holiday, according to government documents.
With just six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that negotiations are at an impasse and that the EU must come up with new proposals on how to craft a divorce settlement.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain, which has warned it could leave without a deal, published 25 technical notices on Monday covering everything from commercial road haulage and buying timber to airline regulations and taking pets abroad.
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission,” the government said.
Overall, the government has published more than 65 such notices giving a glimpse of what a no-deal Brexit — the nightmare scenario for chief executives of most multinationals operating in Britain — would look like.
Amid warnings that trucks could stack up on both sides of the English Channel in the confusion of a no deal, Britain said it would seek to strike bilateral agreements with European countries to ensure hauliers would retain access.
The notices covered a vast swathe of the British economy, warning, for example, that labels on packaged food would have to be changed.
“Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK,” the government said.
Honey producers would have to change their labels while EU countries might not accept British mineral water, the government said.
In the worse case scenario for pet owners, dogs, cats and even ferrets might need health certificates and rabies jabs. Travel plans would have to be discussed with a vet at least four months in advance before traveling to the EU.
That would mean someone wanting to take their pet to the EU on March 30, 2019, the day after Britain leaves the bloc, would have to discuss the trip with a vet before the end of November.
Without a deal, the UK would move from seamless trade with the rest of the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say the government is trying to scare voters about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain, many Brexiteers say, will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.