Egypt pound tumbles on black market as Saudi suspends oil aid
Oct 12 Egypt's pound has tumbled more than 10 percent to unprecedented lows in the past week after a sudden suspension of Saudi oil aid raised fears of a deeper political rift that could sever the government's much-needed financial lifeline.
Black market traders said they sold dollars at 15 pounds on Tuesday, down from 14.20-14.25 a week earlier. But several importers told Reuters on Wednesday they paid 15.20 to 15.68 to secure dollars amid an acute shortage and plummeting confidence.
The steep depreciation means the gap with the official rate of 8.8 pounds per dollar has widened, increasing pressure on Egypt to devalue its currency and end uncertainty that has discouraged foreign investment.
Egypt has struggled to earn dollars since a 2011 revolt drove away tourists and foreign investors. Its efforts to defend the pound drained reserves from $36 billion before the uprising to $19.6 billion at the end of September.
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WNU Editor: The relationship is souring because of this ..... Saudi anger as Egypt votes with Russia in UN vote (Middle East Eye). More here .... Egypt, Saudi Arabia in unofficial cold war, officials deny tension (Daily News Egypt). But maybe the Saudi - Egypt relationship is not that tense as some are suggesting .... Egypt Said to Get $2 Billion Saudi Deposit in Boost for IMF Deal (Bloomberg)
Update: Egypt finds other sources after halt in Saudi fuel shipments (TBO.com)