US dollar at over LE17

The US dollar price jumped on Monday to a new level amid concerns that this state of confusion, which began yesterday, may continue in inter-bank trading for the American currency.

Banks' websites show US dollar being sold at LE17 on Monday in local and international banks working in Egypt.

A bank chairman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that banks first need to make short-covering from foreign currencies and fulfill needs of importers, especially those importing basic commodities. At this point and if there is surplus, he added, it might then be pumped into the inter-bank system.

He said that a balance between supply and demand may contribute to narrowing the gap between the selling and buying prices of the US dollar in the banks, which are selling US dollars at a higher price than buying, in order to collect more foreign currency.

The Egyptian pound declined at the beginning of trading on the inter-bank market, where banks offered to buy the US dollar at LE16.90, and others offered to buy it at LE17.40.

A banker said the decline in the price of the Egyptian pound at the beginning of transactions between banks, on Monday, was due to increased demand for the US dollar from individuals and companies, which made banks raise prices to attract the largest amounts of hard currency.

The sale price of one US dollar in transactions between banks exceeded 17 pounds during the early trade today, with Kuwait National Bank of Egypt displaying a selling price of 17.40 pounds; and banks «International Trade, Egypt, and Egypt's Al Ahly» selling at 17.25 pounds. The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was selling at LE17.40; while the Commercial International Bank (CIB), Banque Misr, and National Bank of Egypt (NBE) were selling at LE17.25.

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