Egypt's central bank lifts US-dollar caps for corporations

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Mar 2016

Central Bank of Egypt
Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters (Reuters)

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) lifted the monthly caps on foreign currency deposits and withdrawals by corporations, it said in a press release on Wednesday.

The CBE relief will be only applicable for the companies that are importing basic goods, however the cash limits will remain for those importing other non-essential commodities, the bank said. 

Last year the CBE imposed limits on foreign currency deposits of $50,000 per month and $10,000 daily in an attempt to eradicate a foreign currency black market.

The decisions are expected to help curb hikes in the US dollar rate in the parallel market, a CBE official told Ahram Online via text message on Wednesday.

The local currency has been weakening in the black market against the US dollar, which is currently sold above EGP 9.60, according to one trader contacted by Ahram Online.

CBE governor Tarek Amer told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that the currency market dealings have witnessed tranquility in the wake of Tuesday's decision to end the limits on dollar deposits and withdrawal by individuals.

On Sunday, the CBE sold $551 million to banks in an exceptional foreign exchange auction that was held earlier on Sunday at EGP 7.73 to the dollar “to clear all imports backlogs,” a CBE official told Ahram Online.

Foreign currency reserves stabilised at $16.534 billion at the end of February, under half their level on the eve of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

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