CAIRO, March 30 Egypt said on Thursday it would
set its customs exchange rate to around 10 percent below the
market price of the dollar for April in an effort to control
Egypt's inflation rate has soared since it floated its
currency last November, with annual urban consumer price
inflation hitting 30.2 percent in February - its highest level
in more than three decades.
"Lowering the customs exchange rate to around 10 percent
less than the price of the dollar in banks aims to decrease cost
of production and rate of inflation," Egypt's Finance Minister
Amr El-Garhy told Reuters.
The customs exchange rate will be revised to 16.5 pounds per
dollar from 17 pounds, effective from April 1.
The exchange rate in Egyptian banks ranges between 18.10 and
18.20 pounds per dollar.
The central bank ditched its foreign exchange peg at 8.8
pounds per dollar in early November, and to help stabilise the
newly-floated currency, it raised interest rates by 300 basis
Earlier on Thursday, Egypt's central bank kept its key
interest rates unchanged, the Monetary Policy Committee's fourth
consecutive meeting where rates were kept on hold since its
aggressive hike in November.
Egypt had been struggling with a shortage of foreign
currency since an uprising in 2011 drove away tourists and
foreign investors alike, both major sources of hard currency.
In November, it sealed a $12 billion, three-year loan from
the International Monetary Fund to support its economic reform
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk, writing by Maha El Dahan; editing by
Hugh Lawson, G Crosse)