Egypt's central bank keeps pound stable at regular forex auction

Tuesday 09-08-2016 01:47 PM

The Central Bank of Egypt devalues the pound against the US dollar on Mar. 14, 2016

CAIRO, Aug 9 (Aswat Masriya) - The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the pound stable at 8.78 per dollar at its weekly foreign exchange auction on Tuesday, the state-owned MENA reported.

The CBE devalued the pound by about 14 per cent to reach EGP 8.78 against the dollar in March in an effort to close the gap between the official and parallel rate.

The gap however persists as the official rate stood at 8.88, while the black market rate currently exceeds 12 to the dollar.  

In an attempt to close the gap, the CBE has been cracking down on black market dealers; with the total number of foreign exchange bureaus that have been either suspended or had their licenses revoked reaching 47.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said last week that Egyptians would "very soon" be able to purchase U.S. dollars at a unified rate.

The cash-strapped government said in July it was close to agreeing a lending programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease its funding gap and was seeking to secure $4 billion annually over three years to support Egypt’s economic programme.

Years of political turmoil led to a drop by more than a half of Egypt's foreign reserves in the years following the popular uprising in January 2011, which ended the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The instability that ensued has driven tourists and investors away.  

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