Middle East

Egypt eases restrictions on foreign currency for importers

Egypt has raised the limit of how much foreign currency importers of essential goods can deposit in the bank, in a move that will be welcomed by businesses.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Central Bank said it would now allow deposits of up to the equivalent of $250,000 a month, up from a previous limit of $50,000, for the import of basic food commodities, industrial equipment, raw materials for production and medicines.

The bank had imposed the limits last year as part of moves to squash a black market for dollars, but it left many importers unable to obtain enough to pay for imported goods.

Egypt's economy is still reeling from years of turmoil following the 2011 toppling of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.