Finally, Zimbabwe is using gold coins to address hyperinflation. Is it effective?

Zimbabwe launching gold coins as a legitimate means of payment as reported by the Associated Press.
The gold coins were sold to the public by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in an effort to tame inflation that is eroding the value of the unstable national currency.
The unprecedented move was announced on Monday by the country's central bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, to boost confidence in the local currency.
Confidence in the Zimbabwean currency is low after citizens saw their savings wiped out by hyperinflation in 2008, reaching 5 billion percent, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

With vivid memories of the disastrous inflation, many Zimbabweans currently prefer scrambling on the black market to acquire scarce US dollars, to stash at home as savings or for daily transactions.
Confidence in the Zimbabwean currency is so low that many retailers refuse to accept it.

The central bank released 2,000 gold coins to commercial banks on Monday.

"The first coins were minted abroad but will eventually be produced locally," said Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya.

The coins can be used for purchases in stores, but it depends on whether the store has enough change, he said.

"The government is trying to moderate the very high demand for US dollars because this high demand is not matched by supply," said Zimbabwean economist Prosper Chitambara.
"The hope is... there will also be moderation in terms of the depreciation of the local currency, which should have some kind of stabilizing effect on prices," Chitambara said.

Any individual or company can buy coins from official outlets such as banks, according to the announcement by the central bank of the country.
Citizens can buy gold coins from official agents such as banks using local currency or foreign currency. Buyers can choose to keep the coins in the bank or take them home.

Foreign nationals can only buy coins in foreign currency, the central bank said.
Named Mosi-oa-Tunya, which in the local Tonga language refers to the Victoria Falls, the Zimbabwean gold coins "will have the status of a liquid asset, meaning they can easily be converted into cash, traded locally and internationally, and also used for transactional purposes," said the central bank.

Individuals holding the coins can only exchange them for cash after 180 days from the date of purchase, the bank said.

The gold coins, weighing one troy ounce with a purity of 22 karats, can also be used as collateral for loans and credit facilities, the central bank said.

The price of the coins will be determined by the international market price for one ounce of gold, plus 5 percent for coin production costs.

At the time of launch on Monday, the price of Mosi oa Tunya coins was USD1,824.

meluncurkan koin emas sebagai alat pembayaran yang sah seperti dilaporkan Associated Press.

Koin emas itu dijual ke publik oleh Bank Sentral Zimbabwe dalam upaya menjinakkan inflasi yang semakin mengikis nilai mata uang negara yang tidak stabil.

Langkah yang belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya itu diumumkan pada Senin oleh bank sentral negara itu, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, untuk meningkatkan kepercayaan pada mata uang lokal.

Kepercayaan pada mata uang Zimbabwe rendah setelah warga melihat tabungan mereka terhapus oleh hiperinflasi pada 2008 yang mencapai 5 miliar persen, menurut Dana Moneter Internasional (IMF).

Dengan ingatan yang kuat tentang inflasi yang membawa bencana itu, banyak warga Zimbabwe saat ini lebih memilih berebut di pasar ilegal untuk mendapatkan dolar Amerika Serikat yang langka, untuk disimpan di rumah sebagai tabungan atau untuk transaksi harian.

Kepercayaan pada mata uang Zimbabwe sudah sangat rendah sehingga banyak pengecer tidak menerimanya.

Bank sentral mencairkan 2.000 koin emas ke bank komersial pada Senin.

"Koin pertama dicetak di luar negeri tetapi pada akhirnya akan diproduksi secara lokal," kata Gubernur Bank Sentral Zimbabwe John Mangudya.

Koin tersebut dapat digunakan untuk pembelian di toko-toko, namun tergantung pada apakah toko memiliki cukup uang kembalian, katanya.

"Pemerintah berusaha memoderasi permintaan dolar AS yang sangat tinggi karena permintaan yang tinggi ini tidak diimbangi dengan pasokan," kata ekonom Zimbabwe, Prosper Chitambara.

"Harapannya adalah ... juga akan ada moderasi dalam hal depresiasi mata uang lokal, yang seharusnya memiliki semacam efek stabilisasi dalam hal harga barang," kata Chitambara.

Setiap individu atau perusahaan dapat membeli koin dari gerai resmi seperti bank, menurut pengumuman bank sentral negara tersebut.

Warga dapat membeli koin emas dari agen resmi seperti bank dengan menggunakan mata uang lokal atau mata uang asing. Pembeli dapat memilih untuk menyimpan koin di bank atau membawanya pulang.

Warga negara asing hanya dapat membeli koin dalam mata uang asing, kata bank sentral.

Disebut Mosi-oa-Tunya, yang dalam bahasa Tonga lokal mengacu pada Air Terjun Victoria, koin emas Zimbanwe "akan memiliki status aset likuid, yaitu dapat dengan mudah dikonversi menjadi uang tunai, dapat diperdagangkan secara lokal dan internasional, dan juga dapat digunakan untuk tujuan transaksional," kata bank sentral.

Orang yang memegang koin hanya dapat menukarnya dengan uang tunai setelah 180 hari sejak tanggal pembelian, kata bank.

Koin emas yang memiliki berat satu troy ons dengan kemurnian 22 karat itu juga dapat digunakan sebagai jaminan untuk pinjaman dan fasilitas kredit, kata bank sentral.

Harga koin akan ditentukan oleh harga pasar internasional untuk satu ons emas, ditambah 5 persen untuk biaya produksi koin.

Pada saat peluncuran pada Senin, harga koin Mosi oa Tunya adalah USD1.824 atau sekitar Rp27,3 juta.

Internationally, gold coins are used in countries like China, South Africa, and Australia to hedge against inflation and as investment opportunities, although they are not widely used as currency as imagined by the Zimbabwean central bank, Chitambara said.

"For Zimbabwe, we are in chronic hyperinflation so the hope is there will be a large uptake of these gold coins," he said.

However, most Zimbabweans struggle to survive every day and won't be able to afford them, he said.

"For ordinary people, there's not much direct benefit from this, especially if you don't have surplus cash," Chitambara said.

"A lot of people don't have money for bread, let alone savings," he said.

"The hope is indirectly it will benefit ordinary people by moderating prices."

Cash-flush companies will see gold coins useful for storing value and also as alternative investment assets, although individuals and companies tend to keep opting for dollars because they're "convenient and highly liquid," he said.

Selling coins in a rapidly depreciating local currency can also lead to "rent-seeking behavior, speculation, and arbitrage in the economy," as some may buy using the local currency and then sell in dollars, he said.

The fact that the Zimbabwean central bank has to buy gold from metal miners like informal artisanal miners could also pose challenges and lead to increased smuggling, analysts said.

"Gold deliveries in Zimbabwe have significantly rebounded due to the appetite-stirring US dollar payments offered to artisanal miners," Morgan & Co securities company said in a market intelligence report.

"However, if there's a mismatch between the amount of US dollars used to buy gold from miners and US dollars used to pay for coins, this can depress the central bank's foreign currency reserves and its intermediaries."

"If this leaks to traditional gold miners, it can result in low deliveries to Fidelity Printers and increase gold smuggling activity," the Morgan report noted.

Fidelity Printers, a subsidiary of the central bank, is the only official gold buyer in the country.

Zimbabwe holds substantial gold deposits, and the export of precious metals is one of the country's major foreign currency earners in Africa.

Gold production increased to about 30 tons in 2021, compared to 19 tons in 2020, according to official figures.

Small-scale producers like poorly regulated artisanal miners contributed 19 tons of gold shipped in 2021, according to official figures. Gold smuggling is also rampant.

"Zimbabwe is estimated to be losing gold worth around $100 million every month due to smuggling," Interior Minister Kazembe Kazembe said.

Smuggling costs the country about 36 tons of gold per year, according to a report issued this month by the Natural Resource Governance Center, a local natural resource watchdog.

Legally, all gold mined in Zimbabwe should be sold to the central bank, but many producers prefer to smuggle gold abroad to receive payments in US dollars.

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