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SA says to relax exchange controls further

Staff Writer
South Africa's Treasury said yesterday it would relax exchange controls further, with individuals being allowed to take more money abroad in the latest government attempt to weaken the rand.

At a briefing, central bank Governor Gill Marcus said she would give details next week, but could not estimate how much money would leave South Africa due to the easing of controls.

"The question of the amount that would flow out depends on what people want to do. By the end of next week circulars will go out," she said.

Following are some of the proposals given by the National Treasury:

"It is proposed that qualifying international headquarter companies be allowed to raise and deploy capital offshore without exchange control approval. This regime will be effective from January 1, 2011 in line with the implementation data for the tax proposals." "South African emigrants are currently allowed to remit up to 8 million rand of capital offshore

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upon emigration. The rest of the assets are blocked and can only be released upon the payment of a 10 percent exit levy.

"Treasury proposes releasing emigrants' blocked assets without any exit levy applying to free those assets. This would support reforms aimed at curbing the excessive appreciation of the domestic currency and would enable the transfer of emigrant assets to residents."

"It is proposed that the 4 million rand offshore investment limit for individuals, which is a lifetime limit, be increased to 4 million rand per annum, subject to compliance with all tax and financial integrity legislation.
"Investments above the proposed threshold, including offshore properties, would require the approval of the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank."-

(Reuters)



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