Egypt central bank says to float currency

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Cairo (AFP)

Egypt's central bank said Thursday it was floating the country's pound as part of a raft of reforms aimed at shoring up confidence in the economy.

The bank said in a statement it had moved to a "liberalised exchange rate... to create an environment for a reliable and sustainable supply of foreign currency".

Egypt has been struggling to boost its foreign currency reserves in the political and economic turmoil following the January 2011 uprising that toppled former ruler Hosni Mubarak.

The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is rolling out an austerity programme and is seeking billions in support from abroad in order to meet conditions for a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and boost investor confidence.

The country's foreign currency reserves stood at $19.6 billion in September, an increase from previous years but less than 50 percent of the level in early 2011.