CAIRO: The currency black market has “disappeared” in Egypt due to the procedures adopted by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), governor Hisham Ramez said in his speech the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) Saturday.
Ramez said the CBE adopted a more flexible exchange rate and policies, and also imposed some technical rules that wiped out the black market.
“There is no black market now. Trading in the black market is over,” he said on the second day of conference held resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh.
Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde said in her speech at the EEDC Friday: “Exchange rate flexibility can also play a role—an exchange rate which balances demand and supply of foreign currency, and can support both growth and Egypt’s financial position.”
Over the past month, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) allowed the pound to hold steady against the dollar after 10 consecutive depreciations starting Jan. 18. in an effort to control the black market.
It widened the range in which banks can trade dollars to 10 piasters above or below the official rate, up from 3 piasters, and imposed a $10,000 daily ceiling for cash deposits in hard currency for both individuals and companies.
The Egyptian pound remained stable at 7.53 per U.S. dollar Thursday at a regular Central Bank foreign exchange auction, it was changing hands between 7.70 to 7.71 EGP per dollar, a very close price to 7.63 per dollar at the official market, a dealer told The Cairo Post.
Despite the challenges, the CBE has tackled market concerns seriously, said Ramez, adding that the CBE was also committed to repay its foreign obligations in a timely manner.
In November, Egypt repaid a $2.5 billion deposit to Qatar Nov. 28, upon an official request from Doha, in addition to a $700 million six-month premium on the foreign debt owed to the Paris Club in January despite the decline in foreign currency resources namely from tourism and FDI over the past four years.