Egypt central bank will retain total independence newly-appointed chief

Egypt’s newly-appointed central bank governor Hisham Ramez said in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya that the bank would retain “total independence” under his leadership and that his priority is to promote transparency.

“Central bank independence is essential. But this does not mean we work in isolation, there will be cooperation between us and the government because we share the same goal which is growing the economy and fulfilling the national interests,” Ramez said.

Ramez told Al Arabiya correspondent Carina Kamel that he wanted the central bank to be more transparent and improve communication with investors.

“The priority for the central bank is transparency; we will do our best to be more transparent so that people are aware of what we are doing so we can manage expectations and the picture is clear to investors.”

Ramez said the bank is not targeting a specific price for the Egyptian pound but seeks to have an ‘orderly’ currency market where prices are driven by the market forces of supply and demand.

“We do not have a certain dollar level we are targeting, our goal is to have an orderly market and Egypt in all its different stages, over the past 8 years we reached where we are today, we succeeded in solving our problems during the global financial crisis and the early days after the revolution,” Ramez said.

“We are very confident that the market will become orderly and balance very soon,” he added.

The newly-appointed central bank governor will officially take over on February 3rd. Ramez said he believes there will be “stability very soon in the exchange rate.”

“We have started seeing positive signs, there are many retail investors who have started selling the dollar, just like some people were buying the dollar, now the system is a ‘two way street’ there is selling and buying, supply and demand. I expect that we will reach stability in the exchange rate; I don’t want to give a specific timing,” Ramez said.

The central bank plans to launch to buy and sell the dollar based on the market activity.

It will determine the timetable for the auction to buy and sell the dollar based on the market activity.

“The auctions we are conducting to sell the dollar, I expect that in a short period of time we will also have auctions to buy the dollar excess from other banks, this is likely and we will see stability in the exchange rate,” said Ramez.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 16 January 2013 KSA 20:04 - GMT 17:04
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