Home > News > World
Thursday March 6, 2014 MYT 1:50:55 AM
Thursday March 6, 2014 MYT 1:51:47 AM
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is holding gold coins valued at $501,390 (299,802.68 pounds) as its only reserves, enough to buy only 1,400 tonnes of maize, the finance minister said on Wednesday, highlighting the parlous state of the country's finances.
The economy of the southern African country, which has slowed to 4-6 percent growth after four years of near-double digit growth, is the biggest challenge to veteran President Robert Mugabe, who was re-elected last July in elections disputed by the opposition.
"The (central) bank does not hold any gold reserves except for gold coins, which were valued at $501,390 as at the end of January 2014," Chinamasa said.
Zimbabwe produced 13 tonnes of gold last year, well below the all-time record of 29 tonnes in 1998.
The cash-strapped and impoverished country plans to spend 70 percent of its $4.1 billion budget on paying salaries this year.
Shunned by traditional Western donors, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank over outstanding arrears and lack of foreign investment, Zimbabwe is struggling to grow the economy with its own meagre resources.
(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
Insight - Syria's 'moderate' rebels say they need weapons, not training
China says Turkey will decide in its "own interests" on missile system
Thai woman fights for stateless after dodging brothels
Nigeria military says one of its warplanes missing in northeast
Russia still has around 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine - NATO
New al Qaeda wing in South Asia claims major attack
Libyan PM seeks to reassert authority with new cabinet
Emir assures Merkel Qatar doesn't fund extremists in Syria, Iraq
Sweden's Social Democrats want cross-party help to counter far-right threat
Eyeing 'fatal blow' against IS, Britain lays ground to join U.S. air strikes
Cambodia deploys troops as garment workers renew wage campaign
Branson backs ride-sharing service Sidecar
Keeping up with everyone else on Jon Stewart's 'The Daily Show...'
Injured Jackson to miss Six Nations
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)