Egypt pound steady at regular dollar sale, weaker on black market
Reuters, , Tuesday 27 Sep 2016


Egypt's central bank held the pound steady against the dollar at its regular foreign currency sale on Tuesday, while the currency weakened on the black market.

The bank sold $118.6 million at an unchanged rate of 8.78 per dollar.

On the black market, four traders said they were selling dollars at a range between 13.05-13.10 pounds per dollar, weaker than last week's 12.8. They did not give volumes of trade.

Egypt is facing an acute dollar shortage that sent its foreign reserves down to $16.564 billion at the end of August.

It had roughly $36 billion in reserves before an uprising in 2011 overthrew veteran ruler Hosni Mubarak. That ushered in a period of political turmoil that scared away tourists and foreign investors, key sources of foreign exchange.

The widening gap between official and black market rates for the dollar has increased pressure to devalue the currency.

Egypt has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $12 billion, three-year lending programme that it hopes will plug the nation's funding gap and restore market confidence, encouraging investment that could help to ease the currency crunch.

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