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Banks Offering Dollars Lure Egyptians From the Dark Side

  • Some businesses are finally able to get dollars from banks
  • Regaining confidence in the economy won’t be without pain
Pedestrians walk past an advertisement displaying a large dollar sign and U.S. dollar banknotes outside a bank in Cairo.

Pedestrians walk past an advertisement displaying a large dollar sign and U.S. dollar banknotes outside a bank in Cairo.

Photographer: Shawn Baldwin/Bloomberg
Updated on

It was only half the amount he requested, but for Ahmed, a textile manufacturer in Egypt, the $168,000 he received from the bank to import yarn was almost a year in the making.

The transaction was the first he had done since the central bank decided on Nov. 3 to float the pound in an attempt to end a foreign-exchange crunch that had battered the economy and forced businesses to turn to the black market at a steep premium to the official rate.