CAIRO: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) sold Sunday $281 million in the interbank market, to clear all outstanding strategic goods, the bank posted on its website.
In a surprise move, the bank did not offer its typical hard currency auction Sunday, and tended to use the interbank system instead. This is the second sale to apply the interbank market after selling $420 million March 1 after a three-year suspension.
CBE usually holds dollar auctions every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“The CBE sold today, April 5, 2015 USD281 million in the interbank market to clear all outstanding strategic staple commodities,” said the CBE.
Governor of the CBE Hisham Ramez told Reuters last month that there are plans to depend on this mechanism besides the dollar auctions in the coming period.
Over past two months, the CBE allowed the pound to hold steady against the dollar after 10 consecutive depreciations in a fight against the black market since Jan. 18.
As part of its clampdown on the parallel market, the CBE, the auctions of which determine the rates banks sell the dollar to clients, widened the range in which banks can trade dollars to 10 piasters above or below the official rate, up from 3 piasters.
It also imposed a $10,000 daily ceiling for cash deposits in hard currency for both individuals and companies.