(Adds details, background)
CAIRO Feb 6 Remittances from expatriate
Egyptians rose 11.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, the
central bank said on Monday, with most of the increase coming
after it floated the pound in a dramatic bid to unlock foreign
The central bank said in a statement remittances had risen
15.4 percent to $1.6 billion in December 2016 from $1.4 billion
in December 2015. Total remittances amounted to $4.6 billion in
the fourth quarter of 2016, up from $4.1 billion in the same
period of 2015.
Around 72 percent, $3.3 billion, of fourth-quarter
remittances were sent after the float, the bank added.
Egyptians working abroad send back billions of dollars a
year in remittances, an important source of hard currency for a
country that has seen tourism, foreign investment and exports
dwindle in the political turmoil that followed the 2011 revolt.
The central bank floated the Egyptian pound on Nov. 3,
aiming to unlock foreign currency inflows and crush a black
market for dollars that had discouraged people from channelling
foreign currency through the banking system.
Expatriates had turned to the black market as the spread
between the official pound to dollar exchange rate and the
parallel rate widened.
The uptick in remittances suggests that the flotation, and
subsequent steep depreciation in the pound, has succeeded in
encouraging Egyptians to send more money home through the formal
(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Lin Noueihed)