Yemen's central bank doubled interest rates to stop riyal depreciation

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-19 23:04:23|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Central Bank (YCB) announced Wednesday it has increased interest rates on deposits to 27 percent, local news reported.

The board of the Aden-based YCB and the country's economic committee decided to increase the interest rate on deposits that was 12 in previous years to 27 percent, the state-run Saba news agency reported.

The bank also took a number of other measures to stop the sharp devaluation of Yemen's national currency against other foreign currencies.

Measures included increasing the interest rate on government bonds to 17 percent from 12 percent and banning withdrawal of more than 10,000 U.S. dollars without written approval from the government.

The Yemeni riyal plunged in recent days after nearly four years of deadly military conflict. In the street markets in the southern port city of Aden, where the Saudi-backed government is officially based, one U.S. dollar was traded for 623 riyals, up from 215 riyals before the war.

Large anti-government protests broke out in Aden and other neighboring provinces despite the latest decisions announced by the Hadi government to stabilize the tumbling currency.

Angry protesters forces stores and a number of private companies based in Aden to shut down in protest against the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities including food stuff.

Earlier this month, Yemen's President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi held an emergency meeting with high-ranking officials and ordered the government to take measures to stablize the food and services supply.

Hadi called for resumption of oil and liquified natural gas exports to bring in foreign currency, an efficient collection of taxes, spending cuts and pay rise for civil sector employees.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including capital Sanaa in 2014, causing Hadi to flee and settled in Aden.

The internal military conflict between the Iranian-backed Houthis and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government recently entered its fourth year, aggravating the suffering of Yemenis and deepening the world's worst humanitarian crisis in the country.