CAIRO May 21 Egypt's central bank said on
Tuesday it would offer $800 million to banks at an exceptional
auction of foreign currency on Wednesday to cover the country's
strategic import needs.
The auction will be the central bank's second exceptional
sale of foreign exchange. In April, it sold $600 million to pay
for wheat, meat, cooking oil and other essential imports.
The bank said it would hold its next regular foreign
exchange auction on Monday. The next regular auction had been
due on Wednesday.
"In addition to its regular weekly auctions, the central
bank is going to hold an exceptional auction on April 14 ...
where banks are required to apply with the amounts of their
client's outstanding import needs," it said in a statement on
The central bank introduced the regular foreign exchange
auctions at the end of December in an effort to stave off a
currency crisis triggered by political unrest.
Egypt is undergoing more than two years of political and
economic instability that saw its foreign currency reserves lose
more than $20 billion since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in
Wednesday's auction will be held for banks with clients
importing staple commodities such as tea, meat, poultry, fish,
wheat, oil, milk, beans, butter and corn, the central bank said
in a statement on its website.