CAIRO, March 6 The Egyptian pound weakened
further on Monday as dollar demand from importers rose ahead of
the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when food consumption usually
Ramadan, Islam's holy month during which believers abstain
from eating and drinking during daylight hours, is set to start
in May this year and often sees Egyptian families stock up on
various food items and other goods.
Banks were selling the U.S. dollar for between 16.9-16.85
pounds, weaker than the 16.1-16.2 per dollar rates they were
selling at last week.
"Now is the time for importers to make the orders for
Ramadan so demand has risen over the past two weeks," said one
Cairo-based banker, adding that demand for dollars began piling
up again at banks.
Egypt's central bank abandoned its currency peg of 8.8
pounds to the U.S. dollar on Nov. 3, hoping to unlock currency
inflows and bring back foreign investors who were driven away
after the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
The float more than halved the pound's value to nearly 20
pounds to the dollar by December. It has since rallied, however,
dipping below 16 per dollar in February on the back of lower
dollar demand for imports.
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Angus MacSwan)