Why AB Inbev’s Zimbabwe unit is abandoning plan to only accept hard currency payments

PUBLISHED: Fri, 04 Jan 2019 10:37:48 GMT

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s largest brewing company Delta Beverages, 40 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, said it has abandoned the plan to only accept hard currency payments due to crippling shortage of U.S. dollars after talks with the government and central bank.

Zimbabwe’s reserve bank will try to provide the foreign exchange required by Delta to continue trading at current levels, the bank and Delta said in a joint statement late Thursday.

Earlier this week, Delta Corp said its beverages subsidiary will accept hard currency only from Jan. 4 to protect itself from a shortage of U.S. dollars in the country.

The African country adopted the use of foreign currencies, mainly the U.S. dollar, in 2009 in an effort to tame inflation, but a severe shortage of physical notes has left Zimbabweans watching the dollars in their bank accounts lose value compared with cash.

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