Country Listing

Maldives Table of Contents


Currency and Banking

The Maldivian unit of currency is the rufiyaa (Rf--see Glossary). Introduced in 1981, the rufiyaa replaced the Maldivian rupee. The rufiyaa is divided into 100 laari. The January 1994 dollar exchange rate was US$1 = Rf11.1 rufiyaa. The rufiyaa has been steadily declining in value against the dollar. The 1993 estimated inflation rate in consumer prices was 15 percent.

Established in 1981, the Maldives Monetary Authority was the nation's first central bank. In 1974 the first bank established in Maldives was a branch of the State Bank of India. A branch of the Habib Bank of Pakistan was established in 1976 and the Bank of Ceylon also opened two branches. The first commercial bank established in Maldives was the Bank of Maldives, Limited. It opened in 1982 as a joint venture between the government and the International Finance Investment and Credit Bank of Bangladesh; by 1993 it was 100 percent state-owned.

Data as of August 1994