Factbox: Foreign exchange regimes around the world
By Karin Strohecker
LONDON (Reuters) – Currency pegs have come under fresh scrutiny once again following a sharp decline in oil prices. Below is a list of some countries which still control their foreign exchange rates.
NORTH AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
LEBANON: The pound has been pegged at 1,507.5 to the dollar since 1997.
SAUDI ARABIA: The world’s top oil exporter has a fixed exchange rate regime, with the riyal pegged at 3.75 to the U.S. dollar since 1986. Foreign exchange is predominantly earned by the government and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) provides the private sector with dollars, selling them against riyals to the domestic banks.
KUWAIT: The dinar has been pegged against an undisclosed basket of currencies, made up of its major trading and financial partners, with the central bank declaring the exchange rate daily against the U.S. dollar.
QATAR: Since 1980, the riyal has been pegged at 3.64 to the U.S. dollar with an upper limit of 3.6415 and a lower limit of 3.6385.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: The mid-point between the official buying and selling rates for the dirham has been 3.6725 to the U.S. dollar since November 1997, with the peg being made official in 2002.
BAHRAIN: The dinar is pegged at 0.376 to the U.S. dollar.
OMAN: The country has maintained a peg of 0.3849 rial to the U.S. dollar since 1986.
MOROCCO: The dirham is pegged against a euro-U.S. dollar basket, with the latter having a weighting of 40%. In January 2018, Morocco widened the band in which the dirham trades against hard currencies to 2.5 percent either side of a reference price from the previous 0.3 percent.
ALGERIA: The country’s dinar is managed against an undisclosed basket of major currencies.
NIGERIA: Africa’s biggest oil exporter operates a multiple exchange rate regime, which it has used to manage pressure on the currency. The official rate of 306.90 is supported by the central bank but the I&E FX Window of just under 370 is widely quoted by foreign investors and exporters.
CFA FRANC REGION: Countries in the eight-nation West African CFA franc zone (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) and the six-nation Central African CFA franc zone (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon) have their respective currencies pegged to the euro . Both are guaranteed by the French treasury and were pegged to the French franc before the euro. Although the two currencies are in theory separate legal tenders, they have been effectively interchangeable. The CFA franc is pegged at 655.957 to the euro.
ETHIOPIA: Africa’s biggest coffee exporter has operated a carefully managed floating exchange rate regime since 1992 for its birr currency . In September, the country’s central bank governor said Ethiopia should slowly liberalise its exchange rate regime but was unlikely to move to a fully floating rate within the next three years.
CUBA: The Caribbean island has had a dual monetary system since 1994 following the fall of the Soviet Union. The two currencies circulating in Cuba are the peso and the convertible peso, which is valued at 24 pesos. Possession of the dollar and other tradable currencies is legal in Cuba, but until recently have not been deemed legal tender for purchases.
CHINA: The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) allows the yuan to trade in a 2% range around a mid-point it fixes against the dollar each day. That mid-point is based on the yuan’s movement in the previous session and moves in the currencies of China’s main trading partners. It has also at times used an undefined “counter-cyclical factor” to adjust the mid-point and contain potentially big swings in sentiment.
HONG KONG: The Hong Kong dollar is pegged at 7.8 to the U.S. dollar, but can trade between 7.75 and 7.85. Under the currency peg, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is obliged to intervene when the currency hits 7.75 or 7.85 to keep the band intact.
SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) manages policy through exchange rate settings, rather than through interest rates as other central banks do, letting the Singapore dollar rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading partners within an undisclosed policy band. In October, the MAS said it would “reduce slightly” the slope of the Singapore dollar’s policy band. The width and level at which the band was centered was unchanged.
VIETNAM: The central bank allows the dong to move in a band of 3% on either side of a daily “reference rate”, which is based on a basket of eight currencies. It does not disclose the composition of the basket.
DENMARK: The country’s currency peg has been in place since the 1980s. Under the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) set up with the launch of the euro, Denmark agreed to keep the crown in a corridor of 2.25 percent either side of a central rate of 7.46038 crowns to the euro. In practice, it has kept it within 0.5 percent.
BULGARIA: The lev has been pegged to the euro since the launch of the common currency and, prior to that, to the German Mark. The lev is pegged at 1.95583 to the euro by the currency board, a regime that constrains its central bank’s ability to set interest rates.
CIS COUNTRIES: Few of the nine members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) still control their exchange rates. However, the pressure is mounting on any currency arrangements after Russia switched to a free-float in late 2014, prompting Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to follow suit in 2015 .
Moldova and Kyrgyzstan already have a float. Uzbekistan allowed the sum to float freely in August. Neighboring Tajikistan, which has what it calls a “regulated float” that features some central bank interventions, allowed the somoni to weaken by 2.7% at the same time, the biggest adjustment in more than two years.
TURKMENISTAN: The manat has no official peg to the U.S. dollar and the currency regime is not transparent. However, the manat has traded at around 3.5 to the dollar following a devaluation in January 2015. Prior to that, the manat had been unchanged at 2.84 per dollar since it was unified with the unofficial rate in 2009 to try to stamp out black market trade.
Sources: International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Bank of International Settlement, Reuters