Sudan to seek $1 billion deposit in central bank, finance ministry says

KHARTOUM, April 5 (Reuters) - Sudan's finance minister will seek to arrange a $1 billion central bank deposit to support its currency when he visits Saudi Arabia, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sudan's economy has deteriorated since a coup last October which led to the suspension of international financing, and its currency has fallen by more than a quarter. The country has suffered from a chronic shortage of hard currency.

"Finance minister Jibril Ibrahim is expected to meet his Saudi counterpart in Jeddah to discuss cooperation and arrangements for the $1 billion deposit to the Sudanese central bank," the finance ministry statement said.

State news agency SUNA reported at the end of last month that the central bank had received deposits from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, without specifying amounts, and that it would inject foreign currency into banks to meet demand.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters at the time that there was no indication of any foreign deposit.

The Sudanese pound, which traded on the black market at 750 to the dollar on March 24, strengthened after the SUNA report. It was trading at about 575 on Tuesday on the parallel market, while a dollar could be bought at banks for about 625 pounds.

Ibrahim is leading a delegation to the annual meetings of the Arab Monetary Fund and development funds established by Arab states.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, Nayera Abdallah and Lina Najem; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Aidan Lewis and Mike Harrison

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.