Coinage pumped into local market to meet Ramadan liquidity demand

The Ministry of Finance disbursed some LE14.9 million worth of coinage into the Egyptian market in August in an effort to offset anticipated liquidity shortages during the Islamic month of Ramadan and the subsequent Eid feast.

Finance Minister Youssef Botrous-Ghali said on Saturday that demand for silver and gold memorial coins had mounted in the wake of the global financial crisis. He went on to point out that the ministry had sold 16,060 coins last year for a total of LE421,000, compared to 5091 coins sold the year before for LE685,200.

Paper currency notes worth 25 pts, 50 pts and 100 pts, meanwhile, have largely disappeared from the local market since banks stopped minting them. The Finance Ministry has for the most part taken over the central bank’s traditional role of minting new coins as part of a plan to gradually substitute paper bills with metal coins.

Within the past two days, banks have seen a high turnout by customers eager to exchange worn-out paper bills for new coins.

According to Coinage Authority head Sumayya al-Sheikh, the price for gold guineas stood at  LE1786.36 as of last July, while prices for silver coins minted after 1995 stood at LE86.3.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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