CAIRO: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is scheduled to sell $300 million at a regular Thursday FX auction, to cover pending backlogfor the import of raw materials, production requirements and spare parts, it posted on its website.
It also announced that regular FX auctions will be held three times a week on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday as of May 7, noting that the amount for each auction will be made public prior to each auction.
CBE dollar auctions were typically held every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Last Monday, the central bank announced the sale of $500 million in the interbank market, to clear outstanding strategic staple food commodities with the approach of the month of Ramadan, the bank posted on its website.
Egypt’s foreign reserves surged to $20.5 billion at April-end, compared to $15.3 billion in March, after receiving Gulf deposits worth $6 billion. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE) deposited $2 billion each.
Gulf countries promised a total of $12.5 billion in aid and investments to Cairo on the first day of the three-day economic summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh March 13-15. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE each pledged $4 billion to Egypt. Oman pledged $500 million.
The significant hike in Egypt’s hard currency reserves would enable its central bank to meet a great demand from importers who have been suffering from a sharp shortfall in dollars over the past few months, mainly resulting from the CBE escalated clampdown on the parallel market by imposing a $10,000 daily ceiling for cash deposits in hard currency for individuals and companies.