Egypt will not devalue the pound against the dollar, according to Atef Obeid, the country's prime minister at the end of December. His statement to parliament was designed to outline government policy and also calm fears of a hard currency shortage after black market dollar rates jumped.

Egypt has kept its currency pegged close to the dollar at around EGP3.40/$ since 1991. In the interim the Egyptian economy has strengthened and inflation plummeted. Bankers say the central bank is both

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