MMA increases amount of USD sales to commercial banks until end of 2020

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) headquarters in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) has granted an additional increase to the amount of USD sales to commercial banks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect of Maldives’ tourism sector, resulting in a shortage of USD into the country, putting mounting pressure on the foreign exchange market.

In a statement on Monday, MMA said it finds it crucial to take additional action to relive the pressure on the foreign exchange market, and has therefore decision to grant an additional increase in the amount of USD sales to commercial banks, and to have the changes in place until the end of the current year.

MMA is playing a key role in mitigating the financial and economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In additional to the USD sales to commercial banks, MMA is also issuing more USD to finance the import of essential communities through commercial banks.

Maldives has received USD 354 million to mitigate the financial and economic impact of the pandemic. MMA said that while Maldives faces massive challenges to economic growth amid the pandemic, its also seeing signs of hope for economic recovery.

Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.

MMA noted that Maldives recorded 1,752 tourist arrivals between July 15 and July 31, and that arrivals continue to increase on a monthly basis.

According to Maldives Immigration, the country recorded 18,918 tourist arrivals since the border reopening, until the end of September.

Meanwhile, the length of stay of tourists is also increasing. Tourists had spent an average of six nights in Maldives in September 2019, but the duration was recorded at a higher nine nights in September 2020.

MMA said that it considers the statistics hopeful signs, and said that the construction sector, too, is experiencing gradual improvement.