Whether you’re looking to move or work abroad, it’s important to take into consideration the strength of the currency in the place where you’re heading. The exchange rate is a great indicator of economic health and it plays an important role in the international trading strength of the country.
In this article, we take a look at some of the strongest and weakest currencies currently on the market. Since our original article we have updated the article to reflect changes in the economy the strength of the currency in each of these economies.
Kuwaiti Dinar – (1 Kuwaiti Dinar : £2.16 – Up from £2.15)
The Kuwaiti Dinar is the currency of Kuwait, an Arab country in Western Asia. It is one of the world’s most highly valued currencies against the US dollar. This is mainly due to the country’s large scale oil production, which produces around 75% of the country’s income. Kuwait is also a tax-free country and their exchange rate is pegged at a high level, which protects the external value of the currency and helps to anchor the monetary value of their exports.
Bahraini Dinar – (1 Bahraini Dinar: £1.73 – Up from £1.65)
The Bahrain Dinar is also one of the most valuable currencies in the world, mainly because Bahrain has such a great value of money and invests so heavily in its finance sector. This has made it a popular place for expats to work, knowing that they’ll get a good rate for wages earned there. After being pegged to the dollar in 2011, the value is expected to remain relatively steady, making it one of the strongest currencies currently in the world. Over the course of 2015 the Bahraini Dinar became more valuable to Brits making an international move to the country.
The US Dollar – ( 1 USD : £0.65p – Up from £0.62p)
The majority of transactions in the global exchange market include the US dollar. This is mainly due to America’s history as one of the first nations to have a centralised banking system, which came into place in the early 1900s. This put an end to banks deciding on their own currencies and in turn, allowed the American dollar to become one of the strongest currencies in the world. As David Kerns, Head of Private Client Dealing at Moneycorp (the exchange experts) states: “The US dollar has continued its march higher against all major developed nation currencies over the last six months. Economic data releases from America on the whole have remained supportive of the view that the US economy will grow at a stronger rate than other western nations.”
Vietnamese Dong – (34,428 VND : £1.00 – Down from 33,976)
Despite being a country rich in agricultural and timber resources, the Vietnamese Dong has one of the worst exchange rates against any currency. 1 Vietnamese Dong is worth around 0.000029 of a Pound, which means you need more than 33,000 of them to make up £1. This is primarily due to the after-effects of the Vietnamese War, where the country saw a dramatic economic deterioration fuelled by import bans, natural weather disasters and inflation, one which it is still attempting to recover from today.
Somali Shilling – (980.04 Somali Shilling : £1.00 – Up from 1247.99)
The shilling has been Somalia’s official currency since the 1960s, but has declined in value since the Civil War in 1991 which led to the breakdown of the country’s government. This, along with the closure of the Central Bank of Somalia, disrupted the value of the Shilling. Many other currencies were introduced by rival producers during this period, but none gained widespread popularity and as a result, Somalia has revived the Central Bank and implement monetary policies which have gone towards somewhat to helping the shilling to rise in value since 2014.
Zimbabwean Dollar – (555.865 : £1.00 – Up from 579.939)
Following the Zimbabwe Civil War and land reform, where white-owned farmland was redistributed between ethnic minorities and the disenfranchised, the Zimbabwean Dollar saw years of Hyperinflation. At worst, it was estimated that inflation was at 79.6 billion percent and on three separate occasions, the Central Bank of Zimbabwe redomininated the currency (removing the zeros) to try and reduce inflation. In 2009, the government stopped printing Zimbabwean dollars completely. Despite this, the rates are yet to improve and as a result, Zimbabwe predominantly uses a combination of other currencies including US Dollars.
Australian Dollar and New Zealand Dollar
Australian and New Zealand dollars have recently declined in value. David Kerns, Head of Private Client Dealing at Moneycorp, attributes this to the wane in the demand of natural resources throughout 2014 due to a diminution of the Chinese economy; “For some time now both Central Bank governors Glenn Stevens (Reserve Bank of Australia) and Graeme Wheeler (Reserve Bank of New Zealand) had been calling for their currencies to weaken as the dramatic drop in commodity prices this year did not correspond with the respective inflated currency values….any talk of interest rate rises are now removed from the agenda until such a time when sustainable growth can be achieved.”