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Afghanistan to auction US dollars

Afghanistan on Monday said it was auctioning US dollars in a move that is expected to strengthen the Afghan currency.

The country’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), said in a statement it would auction about $10 million on Wednesday “to increase the value of Afghan currency.”

In the free market, $1 traded for 92.26 Afghan afghani (AFN).

DAB asked commercial banks and exchange and monetary services companies to participate in the tender. "Winners of the auction are required to clear their accounts by the end of the day," it added.

The move to auction comes after the US administration led by Joe Biden issued an executive order last Friday splitting Afghanistan's central bank's $7 billion in assets, allocating half for humanitarian relief to the poverty-stricken country ravaged by 42 years of war, while keeping the other half available for compensation to victims of the 9/11 attacks.

DAB rejected the US move to seize half of $7 billion in assets held in US financial institutions, saying the money belongs to the people of Afghanistan, not any government or group.

It said that the decision to block their foreign exchange reserves and allocate them to “irrelevant” purposes is an injustice to the people of Afghanistan.

The bank will never accept the country’s reserves being paid under the name of compensation or humanitarian assistance to others, and urged reversal of the decision and the release of all the reserves, it said.


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