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Gold price hits all-time high amidst dollar scarcity in Egypt

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The price of gold in Egypt has reached an all-time high as nervous savers seek refuge from a weakening currency and some companies export bullion to raise scarce dollars to fund imports.

The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce’s (FEDCOC) gold division says the price of 21-carat gold surpassed 1,800 Egyptian pounds ($72.73) per gramme in December.

Head of the gold division at FEDCOC, Hani Milad, said the situation has prompted some importers to buy bullion in Egyptian pounds in order to export abroad as a means to access dollars.

Milad said in a local television interview earlier this month, “we’ve seen a huge influx of money into the market from people outside the industry…importers are buying gold to export for dollars so they can import other goods.”

There have other explanations for the surge in the price of gold. The head of the marketing department at the American University of Cairo, Ibrahim Hegazy, “Gold is considered a safe haven compared to putting your money in the bank in pounds and its value decreasing.”

Wasfi Wasef of the Federation of Egyptian Industries also said “If nothing [changes], the situation will stay the same and we might see more increases [in price].”

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Progress as Kenya’s January 2023 inflation rate slows to 9.0%

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The Kenyan statistics office has revealed that the country’s inflation rate slowed to 9.0% year-on-year in January from 9.1% a month earlier.

The latest inflation figure makes it the third straight month that inflation has fallen in the East African country. The figure hit 9.6% in October, its highest level since May 2017. January’s inflation is still above the government’s preferred band of 2.5%-7.5%.

The statement by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that on a monthly basis, inflation was 0.2% compared with 0.5% in December.

Inflation inched down to 9.1% in December, the second straight month of decrease, but still above the government’s preferred band of 2.5-7.5%.

Kenya’s central bank on Monday announced a new monetary policy holding its benchmark lending rate steady at 8.75%.

According to African Development Bank, Kenyan economic growth is projected to decelerate to 5.9% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2023, driven on the demand side by a decline in domestic and external demand caused by lower income and by an increase in food and fuel import costs and on the supply side by tepid economic activity across sectors due to cost-push factors.

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Nigeria’s legislature approves extra $2.2 bln central bank loans to government

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Nigeria’s debt crisis isn’t going away anytime soon as the country’s lower house of parliament has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow an extra $2.2 billion.

According to the lawmakers, the approval is in temporary advance from the country’s central bank.

Nigeria’s minister of Finance in December made the revelation that the country will henceforth focus on concessionary loans from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, and others for external loans, Ahmed told Reuters in Abuja after a cabinet meeting.

The legislators plan to discuss with officials in order to turn central bank loans to the government worth 23.7 trillion naira ($52 billion) into long-term debt.

President Buhari asked parliament in December for approval to convert central bank’s temporary advance to government into 40-year bonds at 9% interest to cut interest payments but lawmakers questioned the plan.

Government debt in Nigeria averaged 73641.06 USD Million from 2012 until 2022, reaching an all-time high of 103312.80 USD Million in the second quarter of 2022 and a record low of 48361.37 USD Million in the first quarter of 2013.

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