FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe building in Harare

INTERNATIONAL – Zimbabwe’s central bank on Wednesday sought to raise 30 million Zimbabwe dollars ($3.27 million) at its first public auction of treasury bills since 2012.

Between 2013 and last year, the government held private auctions for banks and insurance firms and used a central bank overdraft facility to raise money. It often breached its borrowing limit, pushing domestic debt to more than $9 billion.

Under a staff-monitored programme with the International Monetary Fund, Harare promised to limit its reliance on the overdraft facility, and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told business leaders earlier this month that the government had not borrowed from the central bank this year.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe invited bids for 91-day treasury bills worth 30 million Zimbabwe dollars, which would be allotted to successful bidders on Thursday.

Ncube, who is set to present a midterm budget review on Wednesday, has pledged to lower the budget deficit to below 5% of gross domestic product this year from 11.7 percent in 2018.

Reuters