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CAIRO Jan 13 Egypt's Central Bank Governor
Tarek Amer said on Friday that foreign investors would be able
to repatriate profits and capital "in the coming period" now
that hard currency reserves were recovering, state news agency
Egypt's official foreign reserves fell as low as $19 billion
in October, prompting it to float its pound currency in early
November as it sought to overhaul the hard currency-starved
economy and unlock foreign investment.
The central bank's foreign reserves rose to $24.265 billion
at the end of December from $23.058 billion the previous month.
Meanwhile, between $7.5 billion and $8 billion had flowed
into the commercial banking sector since the float, Amer told a
conference hosted by investment bank EFG Hermes. Inflows into
the commercial banking sector do not reflect in the central
"Amer stressed the importance of communicating to foreign
investors that they could easily transfer their profits over the
coming period through the central bank's transfer mechanism,"
The central bank's higher reserves are largely due to an IMF
loan, which was conditional on the pound being floated.
Egypt had faced pressure to devalue since 2011, as dwindling
hard currency reserves forced the central bank to ration dollars
and impose capital controls that hampered trade in a country
that relies on imports of everything from cars to wheat.
Egyptians commonly traded on a booming black market.
Reserves had stood at roughly $36 billion in 2011 before a
political uprising drove away tourists and investors.
(Reporting by Omar Fahmy; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing
by Richard Lough)