Mixed reports about fate of Egypt Central Bank head

Arab World Materials 23 December 2012 12:34 (UTC +04:00)
Mixed reports about fate of Egypt Central Bank head
Mixed reports about fate of Egypt Central Bank head

Egypt's cabinet has on Saturday denied state television reports that governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Farouq El-Oqda, had stepped down Al Ahramonline reported.

On Saturday afternoon, Egypt's state television reported that much-trusted El-Oqda has left his position, but the cabinet swiftly denied the news on its official Facebook page.

The Central Bank of Egypt remained tight-lipped.

Hisham Ramez, a former deputy for El-Oqda and the current Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Commercial International Bank (CIB), was reported to be the CBE's new governor.

On 17 December, news about the long-serving governor's resignation surfaced, but CBE officials insisted El-Oqda would stay put.

El-Oqda, who has been at the helm of the CBE for nine years, had been nominated earlier this year for the position of prime minster, but he eventually rejected the offer. According to local reports, he has repeatedly sought to resign since a popular uprising last year plunged Egypt into deep financial problems.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi met with El-Oqda on Sunday, but the meeting was not followed by any official statements.

The CBE is keeping a managed float of the Egyptian pound, using its extensive reserves to shield the local currency from the fall of foreign currency receipts.

In the past two weeks, the Egyptian pound lost some 1.5 per cent of its value versus the dollar, reaching LE6.15 to the dollar.

Farouk El-Oqda took charge of the CBE in December 2003 after his predecessor, Mahmoud Abul-Eyoun, oversaw a trouble-free flotation of the pound during his two years in office. In 2011, El-Okda received the "Central Bank Governor of the Year" award for the Middle East and North Africa.