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Archive for Sunday, August 3, 2008

Obsolete coins cause chaos at shops

August 3, 2008

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— Zimbabweans dug out coins hidden away years ago and headed for the shops, where lines built up as overburdened tellers more accustomed to counting mounds of hyper-inflated dollar notes instead were juggling silver.

The central bank, overwhelmed by stratospheric inflation, this week cut 10 zeros from the currency and reintroduced coins made obsolete in 2002 when they became worthless.

A $1 coin now is worth 10 billion of the old dollars.

On Friday, about 20 $1-coins - or 200 billion Zimbabwe dollars - could buy a loaf of scarce bread if it could be found in a downtown supermarket. That's about $5 at the official rate and $2 at the black market rate that better reflects the value of the currency.

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