More USD supplied in 2023 than last four years, says MMA

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) headquarters in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) says it supplied more US dollars this year than the last four years, in its efforts to combat the dollar black market.

The central bank said it continues to supply US dollars to banks and state-owned enterprises.

In 2019, the MMA sold total USD 626.6 million under its foreign exchange intervention policy.

And in 2022, the central bank upped the amount to USD 993.7 million.

MMA said it increased its interventions by 3 percent this year.

MMA said it supplied US dollars to the State Trading Organization (STO) import staples, pharmaceuticals and fuel again this year, in order to mediate the impact on the foreign exchange rate due to the rise in global fuel rates.

The central bank said it also supplied US dollars to other state-owned enterprises to finance debt repayments.

MMA said that as part of additional efforts to address US dollar constraints faced by banks, it also issues US dollars to Maldivians who travel overseas at the rate of USD 500 per traveler via the Bank of Maldives (BML), and provides US dollars to hajj and umrah groups, and to people who travel overseas for medical treatment and education under set policies.

The dollar rate is currently upwards of MVR 18 in the black market – higher than the fixed bank rate of MVR 15.42. The BML has the daily limit for US dollar withdrawals fixed at USD 1,600.