Egypt sells $38.3 mln at forex auction

CAIRO Wed May 15, 2013 6:05am EDT

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CAIRO May 15 (Reuters) - Egypt's central bank sold $38.3 million to banks in a foreign exchange auction on Wednesday at a cut-off price of 6.9591 Egyptian pounds to the dollar. The cut-off price at the previous auction on Thursday was 6.9545 pounds.

The pound strengthened on the black market, with dealers in central Cairo offering to buy dollars for 7.30 pounds on Wednesday and to sell dollars for 7.40 pounds. Earlier this week a dealer quoted 7.45/55.

The central bank introduced the auctions at the end of December to help stave off a currency crisis and thwart a run on the pound. Since then, the currency has lost 11 percent of its value on the official market and even more on a newly re-emerged black market.

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