Egypt's foreign trade worth $21 billion since currency flotation: CBE

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 Mar 2017

Egypt central bank
Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt, November 3, 2016. (Reuters)

Egypt's foreign trade since early November – when the government floated the country's currency – till the end of February amounted to $21 billion, state news agency MENA reported on Wednesday, citing a central bank statement.

According to MENA, the Central Bank of Egypt has told lenders based in the country to notify it before providing governmental entities with foreign currencies upon the prime minister's directives.

These entities include public economic institutions, public business sector companies, as well as government contractors and suppliers, MENA said.

The CBE decided to liberalise the exchange rate of the pound against foreign currencies and cut fuel subsidies on 3 November, leading to a dramatic rise in domestic prices.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said on Thursday that the country's foreign reserves rose to $26,541 million by the end of February 2017. 

The pound has since lost about half its value with core inflation – which strips out volatile items like fruit and vegetables – jumping to almost 31 percent.

Egypt’s trade deficit declined 44 percent in January 2017 from $3.49 billion to $1.96 billion compared to the same month in 2016, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement on Sunday.

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