The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has issued new $ 10 and $ 20 notes which are set to start circulation next week Tuesday and first week of June, respectively, as authorities step up efforts to ease cash challenges in the economy.
In a statement released by the Bank today, the features of the new notes will be published prior to the circulation of the notes.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) wishes to advise the public that the $10 and $20 dollar bank notes issued on 14 May 2020 through Statutory Instrument 103A of 2020, will come into circulation as follows, the $10 banknote will commence circulating on Tuesday 19 May 2020; and the $20 banknote will be in circulation by the first week of June 2020,” the Bank said.
Prior to this, the country’s highest cash denomination has been the ZWL$ 5 note.
Zimbabwe has endured severe liquidity challenges for several years now and efforts to inject more money into the economy have yielded inflationary outcomes.
Year on year Inflation eclipsed the 560 percent mark, according to official figures released in March this year.
To ease the cash challenges, the Bank has increased weekly withdrawal limits to ZWL$ 1 000 from ZWL$ 300.
“The Bank also advises that it has revised withdrawal limits upwards from $300 per week to $1000 per week with effect from 19 May 2020. Banks have been directed to ensure that the withdrawal limits are strictly observed. The Bank will not tolerate any abuse of currency and will decisively deal with any such abuse in terms of the law,” the Bank cautioned.
Previously, the RBZ has been accused of weak security systems which have resulted in new notes being seen in circulation before official release.
However, there are fears the new notes could spike inflation as money supply increases.
Already, this week the local bourse, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has seen a massive increase in capitalization as investors rushed for shelter to dispose their funds in anticipation of inflation in coming weeks following rumors of a cash injection into the economy.
As of close of day, this Friday, ZSE market capitalization stood at ZWL$ 90 billion up from ZWL$ 75 billion yesterday.
This represents a staggering 45 percent increase of the entire stock exchange value in just seven days from the ZWL$ 67 billion market capitalization recorded last Friday.