CAIRO Jan 3 Egypt's pound slid further on
Thursday at the central bank's fourth auction of foreign
currency and hit a new record low in the interbank market
although the pace of its decline slowed from earlier in the
The central bank said it sold $74.9 million sold to banks at
Thursday's auction at a cut-off price of 6.3860 pounds.
That was weaker than Wednesday's cut-off price of 6.3510 to
The pound has lost more than 3 percent of its value against
the dollar this week at the auctions, which began on Sunday.
They are part of a new currency regime designed to slow the
depletion of the country's foreign reserves, which the central
bank said had fallen to a critical level.
On the interbank market, the pound slipped to around
6.42 to the dollar, a new record low, from around 6.39 on
The bank has sold $75 million in foreign currency at all
four auctions this week and economists say that, with its
foreign reserves so low, Egypt cannot afford to continue its
daily currency auctions.
Foreign reserves stood at $15 billion in November - a figure
economists say covers less than three months of imports. The
central bank is expected to release the December foreign
reserves figure within days.
The country sank into crisis after the fall of Hosni Mubarak
in a 2011 revolution but a new bout of political strife has
wrecked the economy in the past weeks and sent Egyptians
scrambling to swap pounds for U.S. dollars.
President Mohamed Mursi, under pressure to show authority
and ease a growing sense of nervousness, has dismissed talk on
the street that his nation was on the brink of bankruptcy.