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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

CBE considers banning deposits of FX sourced in the parallel market

The Central Bank of Egypt is working on banning deposits of FX sourced on the parallel market: The Central Bank of Egypt is reportedly considering requiring banks to accept hard currency only if the client can disclose where and how the currency was sourced, Al Borsa reports. Guidelines for the move, which would mean presenting receipts to the bank at the official rate, are being developed this week, a senior banking source tells Daily News Egypt. The move would effectively make FX from the parallel market worthless, the source added.

Meanwhile, the CBE kept rates unchanged at yesterday’s FX auction, selling the usual USD 117.9 mn for EGP 8.78 to the USD, according to a CBE statement. On the parallel markets, greenback were changing hands at EGP 17.50-17.70 compared with c. 18.20 the day before, Al Mal reports, with the usual caveat that no substantial sums are actually changing hands at that price.

The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce announced it is boycotting the parallel market for two weeks to tackle the soaring parallel FX rate. The federation has also called on its member to stop the import of “non-essential” goods for three months, Al Masry Al Youm reported. With the initiative getting the backing of 70% of merchants, according to its head Ahmed El Wakeel, the Federation is already taking credit for the EGP strengthening yesterday. Both the importers division and the FX bureaus division have also come out in favor of the move. “Hoarders of USD will lose out,” said the head of the exchange division Mohamed El Abyad, adding that a number of decisions will be taken very soon to stabilize the FX rate. Comments from El Abyad and others imply the move was made in conjunction with the CBE. The federation will begin releasing its own guide to the fair value of the USD on its website in a month, said organization board member Hassan Khalil, Al Mal reports.

…But, no, no one imposing a moratorium on importing cars, said Hamdy El Naggar, the head of the importers division at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce. El Naggar tells Al Mal that federation’s initiative to pressure the parallel-market price downward does not extend to a ban on importing ready-made goods. The importers division is also backing currency swaps with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Russia and China.

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