Egypt’s pound steady in official, black markets
Egyptian pound and USD YOUM7

CAIRO: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the Egyptian pound steady at 7.53 per U.S. dollar at a regular foreign exchange auction Wednesday, and the local currency stabilized in the parallel market as well.

Over the past two weeks, the bank has allowed the pound to hold steady against the dollar after 10 consecutive depreciations in a fight against the black market since Jan. 18.

The dollar stabilized in the black market Wednesday as dealers are anticipating new decisions for the CBE, a dealer told The Cairo Post. The dollar was sold at levels very close to the official market, only 3-5 piasters up, he added.

“The bank offered $40 million and sold $38.4 million at a cutoff price of 7.53 EGP per dollar,” the CBE said on its website Wednesday. It remains the lowest level Egypt’s central bank allowed the local currency to reach since auctions began in December 2012.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) commended Egypt’s recent devaluation of its local currency and said it is “an important step in the right direction.”

“A more flexible exchange rate, reflecting supply and demand and consistent with an adequate level of reserves, as a way to improve the availability of foreign exchange for households and businesses, strengthen competitiveness, support the current account, and attract foreign direct investment,” IMF said in the report issued last Wednesday on the occasion of Article IV consultations’ conclusion.

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