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Egypt pound steady on official market, slips in parallel market

Source: Reuters - Mon, 9 Dec 2013 11:21 AM
Author: Reuters
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CAIRO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The Egyptian pound was steady at official rates on Monday, the central bank said, and slightly weaker in the black market, two sources said.

The central bank sold $38.8 million to banks at the auction, with a cut-off price of 6.8770 Egyptian pounds to the dollar. That was fractionally stronger than the 6.8771 at the previous sale on Thursday.

On the black market, two market sources said the pound had weakened since last week. One said the pound was trading on Monday at 7.31/32 to the dollar. Another put it at 7.27/37.

On Thursday, the pound was trading at 7.30/32 to the dollar, one source said. Another put it at 7.27/33.

The central bank introduced dollar currency sales a year ago to help counter a run on the pound. It has burned through at least $20 billion - or roughly half its reserves - supporting the currency since Egypt's 2011 popular uprising, which cut into tourism revenues and foreign investment.

Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez said last week that the black market for currency would "not last long". He did not say what, if any, action the government planned to take to eliminate the parallel market.

(Reporting By Maggie Fick; Editing by Larry King)

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