US Dollar price in black market drops to MVR 16

US Dollars | Photo: Bol News

Malé, Maldives – The price of dollars in the black market has fallen to MVR 16 after a surge in the prices was observed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Viber groups running the black market stated MVR 16.20 as the starting price for the sale of dollars this morning. Yesterday morning, the price was stated as MVR 16.35 which later decreased to MVR 16.25 by yesterday afternoon. The price has been constantly below MVR 17 since the beginning of this week.

Although the dollar price in the black market has greatly decreased, the price of a dollar is still at MVR 18 through legal channels. However, the dollar market is controlled by the black market, with the majority dealing through the Viber groups.

The surge in dollar prices was seen due to the Covid-19 pandemic which saw a steep decline in the Maldivian tourism industry, the country’s main source of income. The dollar prices increase to MVR 20 and had remained at MVR 18 to MVR 19 since then. However, the tourism industry has improved greatly since the border reopening and the dollar income of the country is also expected to increase.

The official price for dollars in Maldives in MVR 15.42. However, as the Maldives Monetary Authority does not have the capability to retain the dollar market during shortage of income, the black market takes the lead in dealing with dollars. Many people accuse major businessmen from resorts to be running the black market. The Government is currently making efforts to get rid of the black market and legalise the dollar exchange system.