he Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will this week release another 2,000 gold coins into the market, following a successful launch last week during which all the 1,500 coins released were sold out.
RBZ launched the gold coins on July 25 as a store of value amid the continued depreciation of the local Zimbabwean dollar and both corporates and individual buyers wasted no time in buying them.
John Mangudya, the central bank’s governor, said Monday that most of the coins had been bought in local currency. “A total (of) 1,500 gold coins were sold by the bank’s agents during the first week of their release into the market, with 85 percent having been bought in local currency and the balance of 15 percent in foreign currency.”
An additional 2,000 gold coins will be released into the market during the week commencing on Aug. 1, Mangudya said.
There have been mixed feelings about the introduction of the gold coins, with some observers saying that they were elitist and excluded low-income groups. The coins entered the market at 1,823.83 U.S. dollars per piece, which is far beyond the reach of many Zimbabweans.
MPC member Percy Gwanyanya told Zimbabwe’s state newspaperthe Sunday Mail newspaper that the coins were an instrument that the RBZ was using to mop up excess liquidity which was in the hands of a few contractors, institutional investors and pension funds.