Egypt raises customs dollar as greenback strengthens against Egyptian pound

Ahram Online , Wednesday 15 Mar 2017

The new rate, set at EGP 17, will be effective for two weeks starting Thursday

Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy
File Photo: Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy at a news conference in Cairo, Egypt August 11, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's finance ministry is set to raise the customs dollar exchange rate to EGP 17 from EGP 15.7 for two weeks effective as of Thursday, the ministry's media office confirmed to Ahram Online on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said the new rate would be applied starting this weekend until the end of March in line with foreign exchange rates in use at banks, in statements to Reuters.

The ministry is set to issue a statement on the issue, according to the media office.

The customs dollar exchange rate is revised every 15 days.

On Tuesday, the ministry said it would revise the rate again, the same day that the US dollar strengthened against the pound for the first time in nearly a month to register an average of EGP 18, according to central bank data.

In early February, the pound's official exchange rate climbed from EGP 18.5 to 15.7.

Accordingly, Egypt's finance ministry lowered the customs dollar rate twice last month, first to EGP 16 then to EGP 15.75, to reflect the leap in the pound's value against the greenback.

In January, the customs dollar was set at EGP 18.5 after the pound's value weakened significantly, reaching EGP 19 against the dollar in December, only one month after the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to float the pound.

In November, the CBE freely floated the pound, releasing it from a fixed rate of EGP 8.88, as part of a set of economic reforms aimed at reviving Egypt’s flagging economy.

Egypt’s foreign reserves reached $26.54 billion by the end of February 2017, up from around $26.36 billion in January, the CBE said.

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