Suriname devalues local currency by more than 20%

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Surinam President Desi Bouterse
Surinam President Desi Bouterse

PARAMARIBO, Suriname (CMC) – Suriname has devalued its local currency by more than 20 per cent, four years after it devalued the currency in 2011 by 16.4 per cent and announced tax raises on alcohol, tobacco, gasoline and basic services.

The Central Bank of Suriname blamed the drop in global prices for oil and gold for the decision to devalue the currency which will now trade at four Suriname dollars to the US dollar, up from $3.25.

The Central Bank said that the financial reserves had declined to US$370 million from one billion dollars in December 2012.

“Suriname is momentarily experiencing a genuine commodity shock,” the Central Bank said in a statement, while opposition legislators said the devaluation was a “smack in the face to all Surinamese”.

President Desi Bouterse, who was sworn into office for a second consecutive term in May, had pledged to restructure the Dutch Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country’s economy and lessen its dependence on commodities including gold and bauxite.

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