IMF's Lagarde says Egypt currency float is "welcome move"

WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde on Thursday called Egypt’s historic currency devaluation a “welcome move” that showed a serious approach by the government to deal with Egypt’s economic problems.

The Egyptian central bank floated the pound on Thursday, devaluing it by 32.3 percent to an initial guidance level of 13 pounds to the dollar, following weeks of turbulence and mounting pressure to reform the economy.

“This is a welcome move given the economic circumstances,” Lagarde told Reuters on the sidelines of an IMF economic conference in Washington. “The way in which it is handled is welcomed and it’s a decision clearly that the Egyptian authorities have matured and deliberated and are putting in place for the Egyptian economy and for the Egyptian currency.”

She declined to comment when asked whether the move would be enough to secure IMF board approval for a proposed $12 billion IMF loan program for Egypt. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)