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Egypt’s bank offers $120mn to cover pharma imports



Egypt’s central bank held the pound steady at a regular dollar sale but said the dollars would be directed to imports of pharmaceutical products, manufacturing components, vaccines and related chemicals and infant formula.
The bank sold $120 million at the price of 8.78 per dollar, unchanged from last week. That is weaker than the rate for the dollar on the black market, which ranged between 10.88-10.95 per dollar on Tuesday, four black market sources said, almost unchanged from last week. Egypt’s economy is hobbled by a shortage of foreign currency since a 2011 uprising drove away foreign investors. Dollars are rationed through weekly auctions imports of essential goods get priority.
The central bank, which has been keeping the pound artificially strong, devalued the currency on March 14 to 8.85 per dollar from 7.7301 and announced a more flexible exchange rate policy. It later strengthened the pound to 8.78 per dollar, where it has remained since.

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