The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) sold $300m Thursday, instead of the usual $40m, at a regular FX auction to cover pending dues of imported spare parts, raw materials and production materials.
Starting December 2014, the bank raised the weekly dollar FX auctions to four times a week, instead of three, with bids offered every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The step was taken to increase the supply of the US dollar in the Egyptian market, and fight the black or parallel market.
After the announcement, the value of the dollar versus the Egyptian pound depreciated to a range between EGP 7.70 to EGP 7.75 on the unofficial market, Pharos Holding indicated in an official statement.
In February, however, the value of the US dollar stabilised on the official market to stand between EGP 7.5 to EGP 7.6, whereas unofficially, the value ranged between EGP 7.8 to EGP 7.9.
Usually each bid was worth $40m, providing a total of $160m. The bank will, however, return to offering them three times a week (every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday), and will specify the amount to be offered before each auction.
Meanwhile last Monday, the CBE sold a total of $500m in the interbank market to cover all pending essential commodity requests, with the oncoming month of Ramadan. Another $281m was supplied at the beginning of April on the interbank market.