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Egypt received inflows of $1 billion in month since currency float: central bank
December 10, 2016 / 4:01 PM / a year ago

Egypt received inflows of $1 billion in month since currency float: central bank

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s central bank governor Tarek Amer said on Saturday the country had received inflows of around $1 billion in the month since it floated the pound in the currency markets.

People walk in front of the Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters at downtown Cairo, Egypt, November 3, 2016. Picture taken Egypt, November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

“We received in portfolios until now around $1 billion in one month that we were not expecting in the first month (since the float),” he said at a conference in Cairo.

Egypt has struggled to revive its economy since the 2011 uprising scared off foreign investors and tourists, key sources of foreign currency. On Nov. 3 it released its grip on the official exchange rate in a bid to restore confidence and attract foreign currency inflows.

Shares rallied on Egypt’s stock market after the currency float as international funds bought into Egyptian stocks.

Cairo’s index of the most actively traded shares climbed near an 8-year peak in November.

“We heard that there was about $500 million that went into the stock market and a similar amount into the debt market,” one Cairo based banker said.

“This is great news and we expect more to come. Before the revolution foreign investors had around $10 billion in the Egyptian debt market so it should eventually reach close to that once confidence has returned,” he added.

Ditching its currency peg also helped Egypt secure a $12 billion three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund to support an economic reform program under which the government has introduced value-added tax, cut electricity subsidies and sharply raised import duties, all in the space of a few months.

Reporting by Asma Alsharif and Ahmed Tolba; Editing by Hugh Lawson and David Evans

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