CAIRO: The Egyptian pound hit its all-time official low Monday, extending its slip to 7.43 per U.S. dollar at a regular central bank auction, compared to 7.39 Thursday.
This is the lowest level the Central Bank of Egypt allowed the local currency to reach since auctions started in December 2012 and it is also the 6th consecutive depreciation, amid expectation of an extended slip in the coming days.
“The bank offered $40 million and sold 38.4 million at a cutoff price of 7.43 EGP per dollar,” the central bank said on its website Monday.
Central Bank’s move to let the Egyptian pound depreciate, which started Sunday Jan. 18, came shortly after its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to cut key interest rates by 50 basis points last week.
Experts say these decisions are aimed at luring fresh foreign direct investments to boost Egypt’s economy which has been struck by political upheaval since January 25 Revolution in 2011.
“The dollar was sold at 7.84 EGP on the black market Sunday,” a trader told The Cairo Post. However, some bankers expect the FX auctions and flexible exchange rates could help the central bank control the active black market ahead of the long-anticipated Economic Summit schedule in March.