Gov’t fixes cus­toms rate for im­ports

Business monthly (Egypt) - - THE NEWSROOM | IN BRIEF -

In an at­tempt to give im­porters more clar­ity when plan­ning ship­ments and set­ting prices, the gov­ern­ment an­nounced Jan. 17 that the cus­toms ex­change rate would be fixed rather than float­ing from day to day. Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the fi­nance min­istry, the rate was set at LE 18.5 per dol­lar, based on the av­er­age ex­change rate be­tween Dec.15 and Jan. 15. A new rate will be set in March. Im­porters, who had re­quested a clearer ex­change-rate pol­icy, were none­the­less re­port­edly dis­ap­pointed by gov­ern­ment’s set rate. “They are tak­ing the av­er­age rate at the banks, and the dol­lar may weaken dur­ing that month. We were ex­pect­ing the rate to be at LE 10 per dol­lar,” said Ahmed Shiha, head of the im­porters di­vi­sion at the Cairo Cham­ber of Com­merce, talk­ing to Reuters. When the ex­change rate was lib­er­al­ized last Novem­ber, many im­porters were left ex­posed by open dol­lar-de­nom­i­nated credit lines that were opened when the of­fi­cial value of the pound was set at LE 8.88 they now must be re­paid at the much­higher mar­ket rates.

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