There is no stock market in the Maldives, although at times some of the larger parastatals issue shares. According to the CIA World Factbook 2001 , the national currency has had a fixed exchange rate since 1995 when it was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of Rf11.77:US$1. This contributed to a low inflation rate of 3 percent in 1998. As a result, the price of consumer goods has remained fairly consistent, and the cost of living is steady. The Maldives Monetary Authority regulates the banking system and the money supply. It also functions as the central bank.