Bank of Algeria: Alleged transfer of capital “groundless”

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ALGIERS- The alleged capital transfer, through the banking channel, as reported by media outlets, “is groundless,” senior officials of the Bank of Algeria told APS on Tuesday.

 

In this regard, they explained that the granting of banking credits to operators “is the only prerogatives of commercial banks and it is governed by procedures and rules set up by these banks, in line with the  laws and regulations in force.”

In particular, “as the dinar is the only currency used as legal tender in Algeria, no bank, and in any case, can grant and has granted a credit in dollars or any other currency than the dinar…. Any other information is unfounded,” said the same officials.

They argue that capital transfer operations are conducted as part of the country’s financial relations with the rest of the world in three main cases.

The first case concerns “the coverage of import of goods and services, in accordance with the legislation and regulations governing foreign trade and foreign exchange in force and according to established procedures.”

All the banks “are required to ensure the compliance with this rules and these procedures, as these institutions are mandated with control of exchanges,” they insisted.

Any import transaction “must first be domiciled with a bank. The transfer of money, in return of imported goods, occurs upon receipt by the bank, of documents attesting the smooth execution of the operation. The Bank of Algeria regularly carries out ex post facto controls and establishes, if necessary, reports of infringement which are transmitted to the competent jurisdictions,” according to the same officials of the Central Bank.

The second case of capital transfer is “the hedge of an investment abroad made by an operator residing in Algeria.

Such transfers can only take place if they are authorized by the Council for Currency and Credit (CMC),” they continue.

Over the past three years, the CMC has only authorized the hedging of Sonatrach’s operations.

As for the third case of capital transfer, it intervenes “within the framework of the transfer of the dividends related to direct investments in Algeria,” said the officials, who noted that these operations “are also been ruled by a strict legislation and a regulation.”

During the first two months of 2019, “there was no significant increase in transfers of foreign currency compared to the same months of the previous three years,” they noted.

As a result, they argue, “the alleged capital transfer, through the banking channel, is devoid of any foundation”.

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