The exchange rate of the US dollar against the Egyptian pound has declined throughout last week to reach its lowest level in two months, settling below EGP 18 for the first time since 8 December 2016.
The price of the US dollar at the Central Bank of Egypt on Thursday recoded EGP 17.86 for buying and EGP 18.02 for selling.
Its value at the largest five banks in Egypt—the National Bank of Egypt, Qatar National Bank, Banque Misr, CIB, and the Arab African International Bank—remained between EGP 17.6 and EGP 17.79 for buying and EGP 17.7 and EGP 17.85 for selling.
Mohamed El-Etreby, chairperson of Banque Misr, said that banks have been seeing more clients getting rid of their dollars, while the interbank system has been seeing more activity to trade the greenback among banks.
He added that the proceeds of buying dollars from clients have been doubling day by day and that he was expecting the dollar to fall further in the coming days.
He noted that the bank has been meeting all requests to buy currency, pointing out that there are no banks on the waiting list with pending requests for dollars.
On his part, Mohamed Abdel Aal, board member of both the Suez Canal Bank and the Arab Sudanese Bank, said that the decline could not have been caused by an agreement among banks, stressing it is a regular decline caused by supply and demand.
He explained that many hedge funds and foreign investment funds have been investing in government debt instruments, while import has also declined due to low demand on high-price imported commodities.
Moreover, he added that the absence of the black market, especially in trading large funds, has also contributed to banks obtaining more dollars.
According to Abdel Aal, banks have been set in charge of putting the price tag on the greenback instead of the black market. “This is evidence to the success of flotation and the ability of banks to take the helm,” he said. “Banks will soon crystallise an exchange rate that reflects the real supply and demand values and that achieves the national interest of the country.”