January 12, 2018 / 7:33 PM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 2-Morocco to launch more flexible exchange rate for dirham on Monday

(Adds government statement)

RABAT/DUBAI, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Morocco will introduce a more flexible exchange rate system for the dirham currency on Monday, the government said on Friday.

The fluctuation band in which the dirham is traded against hard currencies will be widened from 0.3 percent either side of the previous day’s close to 2.5 percent either side, giving a 5 percent range in total, the government said in a statement, confirming what sources had told Reuters earlier.

The move should give the Moroccan economy greater protection from external shocks, it added.

Morocco has been working with a technical mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to liberalise its currency. That move had been expected last year but got delayed pending further studies.

The Moroccan dirham is pegged most closely to the euro, but as a step towards greater flexibility the central bank has reduced the euro weighting of the exchange rate to 60 percent from 80 percent and raised the U.S. dollar weighting to 40 percent from 20 percent. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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