Egypt's new Central Bank governor faced with big currency challenges

The governor of Egypt's new Central Bank, Hassan Abdalla, has a long road ahead as he tries to repair an economy derailed by an overvalued currency, rampant inflation and a banking system emptied of most of its foreign currency.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi chose Abdalla for the position last week after outgoing governor Tarek Amer suddenly resigned. In making the appointment, Sisi tapped into the band of liberal reformers who led the charge to open the economy in 2004. Abdalla will now have to chart out whether to devalue the currency and, if so, how quickly.

In the year to June 30, more than $35 billion in foreign currency left the central bank and the banking system, with net foreign assets plunging to a negative 370.1 billion Egyptian pounds ($19.3 billion) from a positive 251.7 billion pounds, according to central bank data.


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