Egypt's central bank keeps pound stable at 8.78 per dollar
Reuters, , Thursday 17 Mar 2016


Egypt's central bank kept the pound stable at 8.78 per dollar at a regular foreign currency auction on Thursday, one day after strengthening the pound in an exceptional auction.

Egypt, which relies heavily on imports, has been facing a dollar shortage since a popular uprising in 2011 drove away tourists and foreign investors, both major sources of hard currency.

Its reserves more than halved to $16.5 billion in February from around $36 billion in 2011.

The central bank had devalued the pound to 8.85 per dollar from 7.73 on Monday and announced it would pursue a more flexible exchange rate. In a special auction on Wednesday it strengthened the pound to 8.78 pounds.

On the unofficial market, the pound had weakened to unprecedented levels near 10 to the dollar in recent weeks. Black market sources said they would sell dollars at around 9.40 pounds on Thursday, without specifying volumes of trade.

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