Egypt's pound appreciates
08 Jan 2017 - 20:55
Cairo: The Egyptian pound strengthened slightly at banks as demand for dollars by importers eased, bankers told Reuters yesterday.
The dollar was being bought for around 18 pounds at most banks, down from around 19 last week. Banks were paying clients around 17.8 per dollar.
"The demand for dollar is less," said one banker. "Banks have reached a point where they don't need to keep raising prices to attract dollar inflows because there aren't as many dollar requests by clients for the time being," he said, adding that once demand picks up prices will start rising again.
Banks in Egypt had been raising the price to buy dollars from clients in order to attract inflows and cover requests from other clients seeking to buy dollars, but they say demand for dollars has eased over the past week.
Business activity in Egypt shrank for the 15th consecutive month in December, although at a slower pace than the previous month, as inflation caused purchase costs to rise at a near-record pace and new orders to drop as the Egyptian pound weakened against the US dollar, a survey showed on Wednesday.
While banks are prioritising imports of essential goods, private individuals are forced to buy dollars on the black market.
Three traders on the black market said they were selling dollars at a range of 19.60-19.80 per dollar.