Egypt's second biggest bank, state-owned Banque Misr, has opened letters of credit (L/Cs) worth around US$2.05 billion to meet import payments since last year's local currency flotation, according to vice chairman, Akef El Maghraby.

This appears to confirm a steady re-establishment of L/C flows in Egypt.

L/C flows

Last month Egypt's largest and oldest bank, the National Bank of Egypt, said it had financed import operations worth US$4.3 billion since the decision to float the Egyptian pound on 3 November 2016 until 18 January 2017 (DC World News, 20 January 2017).

This compares with US$2.2 billion provided by all of Egypt's banks in the ten days since the liberalisation of the exchange rate (DC World News, 7 December 2016).

The Central Bank of Egypt announced in November 2016 that it would float the Egyptian pound and raise key interest rates as part of reforms aimed at alleviating the US dollar shortage, curbing the black market, and stabilising the economy.

US dollar receipts

In addition to its revived US dollar denominated L/C business, Bank Misr has also collected US$1.02 billion in receipts since the flotation of the Egyptian pound.

These include remittances from expatriate Egyptians, clients selling US dollars, and deposits in foreign currencies, El Maghraby told local media.

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