Egypt, China sign currency swap deal
Ahram Online, , Tuesday 6 Dec 2016

Egypt's central bank signed a bilateral currency swap with People’s Bank of China (PBC) for 18 billion yuan against the equivalent EGP, the bank said on Tuesday.

In a press statement on its website, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said the agreement, which is valid for three years and can be extended, is a "mutually beneficial arrangement between both countries."

"This deal emphasizes the long standing relationship between both nations and showcases China's support for Egypt's homegrown reform program," the statement read.

Egypt, which relies heavily on imports, particularly food, has been suffering from an acute foreign currency shortage since the 2011 uprising which was followed by political and security unrest.

On 3 November, the CBE decided to freely float the pound and raise key interest rates as part of the government's economic reform plan to alleviate the severe dollar shortage.

In mid-November, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) received an initial $2.75 billion from the International Monetary Fund — part of a $12 billion loan to boost the country's economy.

The (CBE) said on Monday that the country's foreign reserves reached $23 billion by the end of November, up from $19 billion in October 2016.

*According to the CBE's website, the current exchange rate of 1 EGP equals 2.56 Chinese yuan, while the current exchange rate of 1 EGP equals 17.65 US dollars.