São Tomé and Principe Dobra (STD) Definition

What Is the São Tomé and Principe Dobra (STD)?

The São Tomé and Príncipe dobra (STD) is the official currency of São Tomé and Príncipe, which is an island close to the equator just off the west coast of Central Africa. The dobra is abbreviated with the currency symbol STD in the foreign exchange market but is often presented locally as Db. The currency is issued and maintained by the country's central bank. Dobra banknotes come in denominations ranging from Db 5,000 to Db 100,000 while coins are minted in 100 to 2,000 dobras. One dobra was divided into 100 cêntimos, but these coins are no longer in circulation.

Key Takeaways

  • The São Tomé and Príncipe dobra is the official currency of the equatorial African island nation of São Tomé and Principe.
  • The dobra is abbreviated as STD in foreign currency markets and is represented by the symbol Db.
  • Banknotes come in values that range from 5,000 to 10,000 dobras while coins are minted in denominations from 100 to 2,000 dobras.
  • The São Tomé and Príncipe dobra is issued and maintained by the country's central bank, Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe.
  • The dobra is pegged to the euro.

Understanding the São Tomé and Principe Dobra (STD)

São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation off the coast of Africa. It was a Portuguese colony between 1470 and 1975 when it gained its independence. The country uses the dobra as its national currency, which is issued and maintained by the central bank, Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe or Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe. The bank was established in 1975 and became fully functional the following year.

The São Tomé and Príncipe dobra replaced the country’s previous currency, the escudo, at a rate of 1:1 in 1977. The escudo used by São Tomé and Príncipe was equivalent to the Portuguese escudo and made up of 100 centavos. The word dobra comes from the Portuguese word dóbra, meaning doubloon.

As noted above, the dobra is abbreviated in the foreign currency market as STD and is represented by the symbol Db. Banknotes come in the following denominations: 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000. Coins are minted in values of 100, 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 dobras. Coins in lower denominations (notably the one, two, and five dobra coins), which were first struck in 1977, are no longer in circulation because of rampant inflation in the country.

The dobra was pegged to the euro at a fixed exchange rate of 1 EUR to 24,500 STD.

As of Dec. 6, 2022, $1 is equal to about Db 23,323.

The Economy of São Tomé and Principe

São Tomé and Principe’s economy was largely dependent on the production and export of cocoa beans, but because of a persistent drought in the region, exports of cocoa beans have declined in recent years. Other local agricultural exports from the country include coffee and palm oil, and the country is actively investing in its tourism industry.

The country reported gross domestic product (GDP) of $547.1 million with annual GDP growth of 1.8% in 2021. Rampant inflation plagued the country, reaching as high as 50.5% in 1998. Reforms have helped curb this figure down to 7.9% in 2018.

The island nation relies heavily on imports for everything from food to fuel and manufactured goods. Because of this, domestic prices are very sensitive to international price fluctuations. The one exception to this is oil prices, which are fixed. There is a nascent oil extraction industry in the Gulf of Guinea, which the nation developed in conjunction with its neighbor Nigeria. These new deep-sea oil fields could help boost the country’s economy and attract new rounds of foreign investment.

Article Sources
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  1. Central Intelligence Agency. "Sao Tome and Principe."

  2. Banco Central S. Tomé e Príncipe. "A HISTÓRIA DO BANCO CENTRAL."

  3. OANDA. "Sao Tome/Principe Dobra."

  4. XE. "XE Currency Charts: USD to STD."

  5. The World Bank. "GDP (current $) - Sao Tome and Principe."

  6. The World Bank. "GDP growth (annual %) - Sao Tome and Principe."

  7. The World Bank. "Inflation, consumer prices (annual %) - Sao Tome and Principe."

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