In Egypt Pound stable at regular dollar sale and on black market

Egypt is facing an acute dollar shortage that sent its foreign reserves down to $15.5 billion in July, near a critical level that would cover only three months of imports.

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Egypt's pound notes are pictured in stacks of 100 as employees count money at an exchange office in downtown Cairo in a file photo. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh play Egypt's pound notes are pictured in stacks of 100 as employees count money at an exchange office in downtown Cairo in a file photo. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Egypt's central bank held the pound steady against the dollar at its regular foreign currency sale on Tuesday as the currency remained stable on the black market.

The bank sold $118 million at an unchanged rate of 8.78 per dollar.

Egypt is facing an acute dollar shortage that sent its foreign reserves down to $15.5 billion in July, near a critical level that would cover only three months of imports.

A widening gap between official and black market rates for the dollar has increased pressure to devalue the currency. Two black market traders cited a selling range of 12.50-12.65 pounds per dollar on Tuesday but gave no indication of trade volumes.

Egypt has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund over a $12 billion three-year lending programme that it hopes will plug the nation's funding gap and restore market confidence, encouraging investment that could help to ease the currency crunch.

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