The day following the devaluation of the Egyptian pound in February, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced the launch of three-year pound-denominated investment certificates, inform Al Ahram Weekly. The certificates offered a 15 per cent yield, to be paid for in hard currency in a bid to attract investors.
Banks issuing the certificates, the state-owned lenders, said they would be available for payment in dollars for 60 days. But with only two weeks remaining of this period, which started in mid-March, sources at the banks have told Al-Ahram Weekly that the certificates have not thus far attracted large numbers of clients.
Mohamed Eltriby, head of Banque Misr , told the local media this week that his bank has collected $130 million through the certificates. The National Bank of Egypt ( NBE ) and Banque Misr , Egypt’s two biggest state-run banks, said they had collected $51 million as of the end of March.
A month after Egypt sought to end a dollar squeeze with the biggest single currency devaluation in 13 years, the country is thus back to square one.
Traders were selling hard currency at LE11against the pound on Monday. Last week the dollar exchange rate softened to LE10.40 after the United Arab Emirates pledged $4 billion to Egypt, with half to be allocated for development and half deposited in the CBE to shore up its foreign-currency reserves, which will increase to $18.5 billion.