Egypt President Mohammed Mursi has said the fall of the Egyptian pound, which is at an eight-year low against the dollar, does not worry him and expects a return to stability in the coming days, a report said on Monday.
The issue “does not worry us and we are not afraid. In a few days things will balance out,” Mursi said late on Sunday in comments reported by the official Mena.
Hit by a new bout of political turmoil in the last month, the pound had weakened to a record low on Sunday at a new dollar auction brought in by the central bank.
“The market will return to stability,” Mursi told Arab journalists on Sunday evening, the state news agency Mena reported.
The pound’s fall “does not worry or scare us, and within days matters will balance out,” he said.
It fell further at a second auction on Monday, last trading at 6.37 to the dollar on the interbank market.
The drop means the central bank has allowed the pound to slide by almost 3 per cent over the last two days after limiting its decline to only 6 per cent since the uprising that removed Mubarak from power almost two years ago.
The pound’s fall, which is certain to increase the price of imported staples such as tea and sugar, underlines the economic crisis facing Mursi as his administration tries to contain the political fall-out of his move to fast-track a contentious new constitution passed into law last week.
Egyptians panicked by street clashes between Mursi’s Islamist backers and his more secular-minded opponents on the streets of Cairo and other cities have rushed to change their pounds into dollars in recent weeks, fearing it would be devalued further.