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Egypt pound hits record low amid calls to fully liberalise exchange rate

December 7, 2022 at 10:13 am

A man counts Egyptian pounds at currency exchange shop in downtown Cairo. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Egyptian pound yesterday recorded a new record low against the US dollar after the government’s efforts failed to stabilise the exchange rate against foreign currencies and gold and attract any foreign investments.

The pound has lost more than 57 per cent of its value in local banks, reaching over 24.60 Egyptian pounds against the dollar, and 28-30 pounds against the dollar on the black market, while gold traders exchange 35 pounds per dollar.

A number of businessmen and economists called on the Egyptian government to completely liberalise the exchange rate to solve the US dollar shortage crisis, which had caused a significant hike in prices.

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Backing the idea, billionaire Nassef Sawiris called on the government to “quickly overcome the current pressures with an open mind to fully liberalise the currency, in order to move the economy forward.”

An economist and lecturer at the American University in Cairo, Ibrahim Nawar, expected the Egyptian pound to lose another 20 per cent of its value over the coming days.

“There are not enough US dollars to finance the deficit in the current account, not even to pay for the goods stacked in the ports, which have not been released because payments to exporters abroad have not been settled,” he added.

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