January 10, 2013 / 6:55 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-New Egypt c.bank chief says not worried about currency

CAIRO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Egypt’s newly named central bank chief sought to reassure investors on Thursday there was no need to be worried about the situation on the Egyptian currency market, saying the bank had “all the tools” to intervene if it saw speculation.

Political unrest at the end of last year has sent the Egyptian pound to record lows as people rushed to buy hard dollars fearing a messy devaluation.

“The matter is not out of control. On the contrary, at any time we can control it,” Hisham Ramez told reporters shortly after President Mohamed Mursi named him as the new governor.

“The central bank has all the tools to enable it to intervene at anytime it feels there is speculation or anything against the market.”

Ramez, a former deputy central banker, is expected to assume his duties on Feb. 3 after Mursi accepted the resignation of his predecessor, Farouk El-Okdah, the presidency said in a statement.

Ramez’s appointment has to be approved by the upper house of parliament, which holds legislative powers until Egypt votes for a permanent new lower house in an election expected in the next few months.

The upper house is dominated by Mursi’s Islamist supporters.

“We are looking at prices constantly. The situation is not out of control. There is no cause for concern,” Ramez said.

“What concerns the central bank is that the market is normal and balanced. As the price rises it also falls. Supply and demand ... are what are necessary.”

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