UPDATE 1-Sudanese pound devalued by 19% as banks freed to set rates

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KHARTOUM, March 8 (Reuters) - Sudanese banks were selling dollars at a rate of 530 pounds on Tuesday, a drop of about 19% from the previous rate, after authorities moved to counter a slide in the value of the pound on a resurgent black market.

The central bank said on Monday that banks and currency exchanges would set their own exchange rates without central bank intervention. An emergency economic committee under Sudan’s ruling council had said official and black market exchange rates would be unified.

Both the Bank of Khartoum, Sudan’s largest bank, and the Saudi Sudanese Bank, had set a rate of 530 pounds to the dollar on Tuesday morning, from about 445 pounds previously, a Reuters reporter said. Other banks set similar rates.

The dollar was trading at around 560 pounds on the parallel market.

Sudan’s economy has come under renewed pressure since substantial international support was suspended following a military coup in late October.

The military dissolved a civilian government that had carried out rapid economic reforms, including a sharp devaluation of the pound under a “managed float” policy in February 2021.

After that devaluation, the exchange rate had held steady for several months, and the black market had all but disappeared before it began to resurface in recent weeks.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz Writing by Aidan Lewis Editing by Catherine Evans and Carmel Crimmins