President Mohamed Morsi has said the fall of the Egyptian pound, which is at an eight-year low against the dollar, does not worry him and expects a return to stability in the coming days, a report said Monday.
The issue “does not worry us and we are not afraid. In a few days things will balance out,” Morsi said late Sunday in comments reported by the official MENA.
“The market will return to stability.”
The Egyptian pound fell to its lowest level since 2004 to 6.42 against the dollar in Monday trading compared to 6.36 on Sunday, MENA said.
Egypt’s central bank acknowledged on Saturday that its foreign currency reserves, which fell to $15 billion from $36 in two years, were at a “critical minimum”.
Egypt is reported to have extensively used its foreign currency reserves to support the pound and to ensure vital imports such as wheat and fuel.
The central bank has taken several measures to limit capital outflows such as the introduction of a tax on foreign exchange for individuals and capping daily withdrawals by foreign companies at $30,000.
The Egyptian economy is facing a serious crisis since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, including a decline in tourism receipts and a collapse in foreign investment.
The Egyptian government said Sunday it will resume negotiations in January with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of $4.8 billion.