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May 18, 2023

Central Bank of Belize Fixes Buying Rate of US Dollar at BZ$2.00

The Central Bank of Belize has officially fixed buying rate of the U.S. dollar at two Belize dollars to one U.S. dollar, effective May second. Governor of the Central Bank, Kareem Michael explained the rationale behind the decision, saying that the focus has primarily been on cash instruments, specifically currency notes, which were subject to complaints and concerns from the public. He says that by resetting the buying rate to two to one for authorized dealers, issues faced by individuals in their everyday transactions will be addressed.


Kareem Michael

Kareem Michael, Governor, Central Bank

“The decision that was recently made was on the cash portion or the cash instruments, the currency notes. So the US dollar that let’s say, John Doe goes to the commercial bank and gives to the commercial bank to place into his account. That now has gone from that margin of 1.982 to strictly 2 back to the exchange rate. We the Central Bank for a number of years have received quite a bit of concerns and complaints from the public regarding this issue. The example I like to use is, is the taxi or tour operator who may have received a tip for 20 US dollars and then attempts to go to the gas station to put in the equivalent of $40 gas. He probably would’ve been in a number of instances, uh, been refused by that gas station of a, of taking the $20 because when that owner of that gas station goes to the commercial bank deposit, he gets, that owner of the gas station gets roughly $38 and 60 cents after having given out the equivalent of 40 billion dollars in gas. So you can see how that’s an issue for the everyday person. So what we did in early May was to focus first, primarily on the cash. That ends up in our economy. It’s part of, um, circulation that we’re saying, listen, um, that rate at which the commercial banks as authorized dealers can buy that cash is back to 2 to 1.”

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