Egypt Plans Another Large Dollar Sale to Tackle Currency Crunch

Egypt’s central bank said it will inject more dollars into the market, the latest in a series of measures to try to limit the economic damage stemming from a shortage of hard currency.

The regulator will offer $1.5 billion to local lenders in an “exceptional” sale on Wednesday to cover importers’ debts, the bank said in a statement on website, without saying how it is funding the sales. It will mark the fourth unusual sale this month and bring the total to about $2.4 billion, or about five times the regular monthly amount offered.

The sale comes after the bank devalued the pound by almost 13 percent to 8.85 per dollar on Monday, the biggest one-time move since 2003. It also promised to shift to a flexible exchange rate to attract more foreign investment, a move recommended by the International Monetary Fund.

The bank sold $198.3 million to lenders on Tuesday, keeping the pound’s rate unchanged. In the black market, the local currency rose to 9.567 per dollar compared with 9.684 on Thursday, still weaker than a range of 9-9.2 per dollar reported by local media on Sunday.

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