Al-Masry Al-Youm tracked down the journey of US$500 from the bank to the bureaux de change and bazars of the black market.
The newspaper withdrew the amount from the bank, which disburses a maximum of $1,500 at a time at the central bank’s conversion rate of LE7.45 only if you have a dollar account. The total in Egyptian pounds was LE3,730.
Then it went to a bazaar downtown to sell the dollars for the highest rate, as the rate varies depending on the amount. The teller, who uses a pseudonym, offered us the rate of LE7.75 but said he would not give a receipt. And when this rate was rejected, he raised it to LE7.77
The same happened at six other bureaux de change and bazaars. They all offered LE7.77 without receipt or LE7.45 with a receipt.
The paper sold the $500 in the end for LE3,875 and made LE145 in profits.
Salwa al-Antari, the former director of research at the National Bank of Egypt, said the foreign currencies available are not enough to meet the basic needs of the market.
Hani al-Hariry of the Chamber of Commerce said the problem is that some bureaux de change raise the rate. “Not all of them do so because the government has regulatory mechanisms,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday the dollar rate on the black market rose by eight piasters to LE7.98 the selling price and LE7.95 the buying price.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm