What Is the Suriname Dollar (SRD)?

The Suriname dollar (SRD) is the ISO 4217 forex currency abbreviation for the Surinamese dollar, the currency for the South American country of Suriname.

ISO codes are three-letter alphabetic representations of the various national currencies that exist worldwide. Together in pairs, they symbolize the cross rates used in foreign exchange currency trading.

The Surinamese dollar comprises 100 cents and is represented by the symbol $ or, more specifically, Sr$. The coins of the Surinamese dollar are denominated in cents. The country's previous currency, the guilder, was also made up of 100 cents.

Understanding the Suriname Dollar (SRD)

The Suriname dollar was first introduced as the official currency of Suriname in January 2004, when it replaced the Suriname guilder at a rate of 1,000:1. The old coins continued to be used but were simply designated to be worth a hundredth of a dollar, rather than a hundredth of a guilder. With the exchange rate of 1,000:1, coins became 1,000 times more valuable overnight.

Coins representing one, five, 10, 25, 100, and even 250 cents were in circulation. In fact, for the first month or so of the new currency, only coins were available in circulation due to mechanical problems at the printer issuing new banknotes.

It's not just forex traders but also the people of Suriname who often refer to the national currency as SRD. Since the U.S. dollar is used for prices on big-ticket items such as electronics, furniture, appliances, and motor vehicles, this helps differentiate the dollar used in Suriname.

The Surinamese Economy and the Strength of the SRD

Suriname, a former Dutch colony located on the northeast coast of South America, is the continent's smallest country both geographically and by population. It's a bit closer to the middle of the pack in gross domestic product, however, and boasts natural resources, lower energy costs, and a diverse agriculture industry that has been attractive to foreign investors.

An October 2017 article in GlobalCapital noted that Suriname's economy had been affected by the end of the commodity boom more than many countries, but its recovery had been impressive to many investors.

The government responded by making spending cuts and floating the exchange rate, leading to big inflation in 2016. But the article called that the "inevitable, if painful, result of the authorities making the right move. Floating the Surinamese dollar led the currency to lose more than half its value versus the U.S. dollar from November 2015 to September 2016.

"Letting go of the currency was the right thing to do — although the government did it a little later than would have been ideal, and foreign currency reserves were drained," GlobalCapital quoted Oppenheimer managing director Nathalie Marshik.