The Egyptian Central Bank faced increase pressure to devalue as the black market burgeoned.
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When Egyptian central bank Governor Hesham Ramez quit, phones began ringing as bankers congratulated each other on the departure of a man they say refused to change course even as Egypt careered from currency crisis toward trade crisis.Fresh blood at the top has raised hopes of impending change to a monetary policy that has failed to stabilize the pound, has angered importers and become personally associated with Ramez, whose currency controls have starved some businesses of dollars.Ramez took the helm at the central bank in February 2013, when the Muslim Brotherhood-led government was struggling to stabilize an economy hit by political turbulence in the wake of the 2011 uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power.Foreign reserves at the time were $13.6 billion, less than half their pre-uprising level and not enough to cover three months worth of Egypt's import needs.Ramez devalued the pound in January and February.Ramez has strongly defended an approach he says was aimed at putting what dollars there are in Egypt to the best use.Bankers say Amer, who worked at Citibank, Bank of America and was previously a deputy central bank governor, is a team player better suited to building strong ties with global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.Some say he is more liberal-minded than Ramez.
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