A majority of Egyptian food companies import raw materials, so the nationwide dollar shortage may be forcing them to pay a premium for the currency in the black market. Now that the unofficial rate is near a record, investor concern that profits will decline pushed Egypt’s Food & Beverage Index down to the lowest level in more than three years on Tuesday. “What’s the way out? It’s to raise prices,” said Radwa El-Swaify, the head of research at Pharos Holding in Cairo, although the government may block those plans to keep inflation in check, she added. Bloomberg conducts a weekly survey with black-market traders who ask not to be identified because they are discussing transactions outside price limits set by central bank.
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