Egypt keeps customs exchange rate at 16.5 pounds/dlr in June

CAIRO, May 31 (Reuters) - Egypt will keep its customs exchange rate steady at 16.5 pounds per dollar, about 9 percent below the market price of the dollar, for June, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told Reuters.

Egypt’s inflation rate has soared since it floated its currency last November, with annual urban consumer price inflation hitting 31.5 percent in March - its highest level in more than three decades.

The exchange rate in Egyptian banks is around 18.12 pounds per dollar.

The central bank ditched its foreign exchange peg at 8.8 pounds per dollar in early November, and to help stabilise the newly floated currency it raised interest rates by 300 basis points. The central bank raised its key interest rates once again by 200 basis points on May 21 in an attempt to curb soaring inflation of over 30 percent. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Amina Ismail)