Egyptian pound

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Egyptian pound
جنيه مصري (Arabic)
Kingtutcoinobv without background.png EGP 200 Pounds Apr 2007 (Back).jpg
Obverse of a modern LE 1 coinReverse of the LE 200 banknote
ISO 4217
CodeEGP
Number818
Subunit decimals2
Unit
SymbolNone official, see notation and symbols section
Denominations
Subunit
1100Piastre (قرش, "ersh")
11,000Millieme (مليم,‎ mallīm)
Banknotes
 Freq. usedLE 1, LE 5, LE 10, LE 20, LE 50, LE 100, LE 200
 Rarely used25 PT, 50 PT
Coins25 PT, 50 PT, LE 1
Demographics
Date of introduction1834; 188 years ago (1834)
ReplacedEgyptian piastre
Official user(s) Egypt
Unofficial user(s) Gaza Strip[1]
Issuance
Central bankCentral Bank of Egypt
 Websitewww.cbe.org.eg/en
Valuation
Inflation5.86%[2] (2020)

The pound (Egyptian Arabic: جنيه مصرى ge.neːh masˤ.ri; abbreviation: LE[3][4] in Latin, ج.م in Arabic, historically also £E;[5][6][7][8] ISO code: EGP) is the official currency of Egypt. It is divided into 100 piastres, or ersh (قرش [ʔerʃ]; plural قروش [ʔo.ruːʃ];[2] abbreviation: PT[9][10]), or 1,000 milliemes (مليم  [mal.liːm]; French: millième, abbreviated to m or mill)..

A contemporary LE 1 coin.

History[edit]

LE 50 promissory note issued and hand-signed by Gen. Gordon during the Siege of Khartoum (26 April 1884)[11]
LE 50 promissory note issued and hand-signed by Gen. Gordon during the Siege of Khartoum (26 April 1884)[11]
The first LE 1 banknote issued in 1899

In 1834, a khedival decree was issued, adopting an Egyptian currency based on a bimetallic standard (gold and silver) on the basis of the Maria Theresa thaler, a popular trade coin in the region.[12] The Egyptian pound, known as the geneih, was introduced, replacing the Egyptian piastre (ersh) as the chief unit of currency. The piastre continued to circulate as 1100 of a pound, with the piastre subdivided into 40 para. In 1885, the para ceased to be issued, and the piastre was divided into tenths (عشر القرش 'oshr el-ersh). These tenths were renamed milliemes (malleem) in 1916.

The legal exchange rates were fixed by force of law for important foreign currencies which became acceptable in the settlement of internal transactions. Eventually this led to Egypt using a de facto gold standard between 1885 and 1914, with LE 1 = 7.4375 grammes pure gold. At the outbreak of World War I, the Egyptian pound used a sterling peg of one pound and sixpence sterling to one Egyptian pound (£1 sterling = LE 0.975, or LE 1 = £1/–/6 stg).

Egypt remained part of the Sterling Area until 1962, when Egypt devalued slightly and switched to a peg to the United States dollar, at a rate of LE 1 = US$2.3. This peg was changed to LE 1 = US$2.55555 in 1973 when the dollar was devalued. The Egyptian pound floated in 1989. However, until 2001, the float was tightly managed by the Central Bank of Egypt and foreign exchange controls were in effect. After exhausting all of its policies to support the pound, the Central Bank of Egypt was forced to end the managed-float regime and allowed the currency to float freely on the 3rd of November 2016;[13] the bank also announced an end to foreign exchange controls that day.[14] The official rate fell twofold.

The Egyptian pound was also used in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan between 1899 and 1956, and Cyrenaica when it was under British occupation and later an independent emirate between 1942 and 1951. It also circulated in Mandatory Palestine from 1918 to 1927, when the Palestine pound was introduced, equal in value to the pound sterling. The National Bank of Egypt issued banknotes for the first time on 3 April 1899. The Central Bank of Egypt and the National Bank of Egypt were unified into the Central Bank of Egypt in 1961.


Symbols and nomenclature [edit]

Notation and symbols[edit]

The Egyptian pound has no formal or single widely adopted currency sign. Historically, Egyptian banknotes and postage stamps used the letters 'LE' in a script typeface (ℒℰ) as a sign for the currency in the Latin alphabet.[15] The style £E[16] using the pound sign instead of a standard L glyph has been used to varying degrees and may still be encountered, but the abbreviation "LE" (standing for livre égyptienne in French) is the most commonly used to-day.

The piastre almost always uses the abbreviation "PT" (standing for piastre tarifée[17] in French, meaning tariffed piastre in English). When issued as a circulation coin the millieme was abbreviated to "m", "mill" or "mills".

Used for historical values or in vernacular speech[edit]

Several unofficial popular names are used to refer to different denominations of Egyptian currency. These include (from the word nickel) nekla (نكلة) [ˈneklæ] for 2 milliemes, ta'rifa (تعريفة) [tæʕˈɾiːfæ] for 5 milliemes, shelen (شلن) [ˈʃelen] (i.e. a shilling) for 5 piastres, bariza (بريزة) [bæˈɾiːzæ] for 10 piastres, and reyal (ريال) [ɾeˈjæːl] ("real") for 20 piastres. Since the piastre and millieme are no longer legal tender, the smallest denomination currently minted being the 25 PT. coin (functioning as one-quarter of LE 1), these terms have mostly fallen into disuse and survive as curios. A few have survived to refer to pound notes: bariza now refers to the LE 10 note and reyal can be used in reference to the LE 20 note.[citation needed]

Informal[edit]

Different sums of the Egyptian pound have nicknames in vernacular speech, for example: LE 1 bolbol meaning nightingale or gondi meaning soldier, LE 1,000 bako (باكو) [ˈbæːko] "pack"; LE 1,000,000 arnab (أرنب) [ˈʔæɾnæb] "rabbit"; LE 1,000,000,000 feel (فيل) [fiːl] "elephant".

Coins[edit]

Between 1837 and 1900, copper 1 and 5 para*, silver 10 and 20 para, 1, 5, 10 and 20 piastre (PT), gold 5 PT, 10 PT. and 20 PT and LE 1 coins were introduced, with gold 50 PT coins issued in 1839.

Copper 10 para coins were introduced in 1853, although the silver coin continued to be issued. Copper 10 para coins were again introduced in 1862, followed by copper 4 para and 212 PT coins in 1863. Gold 25 PT coins were introduced in 1867.

In 1885, the para was replaced by the millieme in order to decimalise the currency and a new coinage was introduced. The issue consisted of bronze 14, 12, 1, 2 and 5 millieme (m), silver 1 PT, 2 PT, 5 PT, 10 PT and 20 PT coins. The gold coinage practically ceased, with only small numbers of 5 PT and 10 PT coins issued.

In 1916 and 1917, a new base metal coinage was introduced consisting of bronze 12m and holed, cupro-nickel 1m, 2m, 5m and 10m coins. Silver 2 PT, 5 PT, 10 PT and 20 PT coins continued to be issued, and a gold LE 1 coin was reintroduced. Between 1922 and 1923, the gold coinage was extended to include 20 PT and 50 PT and LE 1 and LE 5 coins. In 1924, bronze replaced cupro-nickel in the 1m coin and the holes were removed from the other cupro-nickel coins. In 1938, bronze 5m and 10m coins were introduced, followed in 1944 by silver, hexagonal 2 PT coins.

Between 1954 and 1956, a new coinage was introduced, consisting of aluminium-bronze 1m, 5m and 10m and silver 5 PT, 10 PT and 20 PT coins, with the size of the silver coinage significantly reduced. An aluminium-bronze 2m coin was introduced in 1962. In 1967 the silver coinage was abandoned and cupro-nickel 5 and 10 piastre coins were introduced.

Aluminium replaced aluminium-bronze in the 1m, 5m and 10m coins in 1972, followed by brass in the 5m and 10m coins in 1973. Aluminium-bronze 2 PT and cupro-nickel 20 PT coins were introduced in 1980, followed by aluminium-bronze 1 PT and 5 PT coins in 1984. In 1992, brass 5 and 10 piastre coins were introduced, followed by holed, cupro-nickel 25 piastre coins in 1993. The size of 5 PT coins was reduced in 2004, 10 PT and 25 PT coins - in 2008.

On the 1st of June, 2006, 50 PT and LE 1 coins dated 2005 were introduced, and its equivalent banknotes were temporarily phased out from circulation in 2010. The coins bear the face of Cleopatra VII and Tutankhamun's mask, and the LE 1 coin is bimetallic. The size and composition of 50 PT coins was reduced in 2007.

Coins in circulation[18][19]
Value Debut Image Specifications Description
Obverse Reverse Diameter (mm) Thickness (mm) Mass (g) Composition Obverse Reverse
5 PT** 1984 5qershObverse1984 5qershReverse1984 23 1.2 4.9 Copper 95% Aluminium 5% 3 pyramids of Giza
1992 21 1.1 3.2 Copper 92%
Aluminium 8%
Islamic pottery
2004–2008 17 1.04 2.4 Steel 94%
Nickel 2%
Copper plating 4%
10 PT** 1984 25 1.35 5.2 Copper 75% Nickel 25% Mosque of Muhammad Ali
1992 10 EPT obverse.JPG 10 EPT reverse.JPG 23 1.2 4.9 Copper 95% Aluminum 5%
2008 19 1.1 3.2 Steel 94%
Copper 2%
Nickel plating 4%
20 PT** 1984 27 1.4 6 Copper 75% Nickel 25%
1992 20 EPT reverse.JPG 25 1.35 5.2 Copper 95%
Aluminium 5%
Al-Azhar mosque
25 PT 1993** 1.4
2008-22 21 1.26 4.5 Steel 94%
Copper 2%
Nickel plating 4%
50 PT 2005 50 Egyptian piastres obverse.JPG 50 Egyptian piastres reverse.jpg 25 1.58 6.5 Copper 75%
Zinc 20%
Nickel 5%
2007-21 23 1.7 Steel 94%
Nickel 2%
Copper plating 4%
LE 1*** 2005 100 EPT obverse.JPG 100 EPT reverse.JPG 25 1.89 8.5 Bimetal Tutankhamun's mask
Ring Centre
Copper 75%
Nickel 25%
Copper 75%
Zinc 20%
Nickel 5%
2007–2022 1.96 Steel 94%
Copper 2%
Nickel plating 4%
Steel 94%
Nickel 2%
Copper plating 4%
* 1 para = 140 piastre.

** Not in circulation as of 2008.

*** As to commemorate the branching of the Suez canal, the obverse had the Arabic phrase, قناة السويس الجديدة "New Suez Canal".

Banknotes[edit]

In 1899, the National Bank of Egypt introduced notes in denominations of 50 PT, LE 1, LE 5, LE 10, LE 50 and LE 100. Between 1916 and 1917, 25 PT notes were added, together with government currency notes for 5 PT and 10 PT issued by the Ministry of Finance.

In 1961, the Central Bank of Egypt took over from the National Bank and issued notes in denominations of 25 and 50 piastres, LE 1, LE 5, LE 10 and LE 20 notes were introduced in 1976, followed by LE 100 in 1978, LE 50 in 1993 and LE 200 in 2007.[20]

All Egyptian banknotes are bilingual, with Arabic texts and Eastern Arabic numerals on the obverse, and English texts and Western Arabic numerals on the reverse. Obverse designs tend to feature an Islamic building with reverse designs featuring Ancient Egyptian motifs (buildings, statues and inscriptions). During December 2006, it was mentioned in articles in Al Ahram and Al Akhbar newspapers that there were plans to introduce LE 200 and LE 500 notes. As of 2019, there are LE 200 notes circulating but there are still no plans for issuing LE 500 notes.[21] Starting from 2011 the 25 PT, 50 PT and LE 1 banknotes were phased out in favour of more extensive use of coins. However as of June 2016 the National Bank of Egypt reintroduced the LE 1 banknote into circulation[22] as well as 25 PT and 50 PT notes in response to a shortage of small change.

The governor of the Central Bank of Egypt announced that the Central Bank of Egypt will issue polymer notes by the beginning of 2021. This change comes as the CBE moves its headquarters to the new administrative capital.[23] On July 31, 2021, the President of Egypt reviewed the notes of LE 10 and LE 20, to be issued in November 2021.[24] In August 2021, the Central Bank was forced to confirm that rainbow holograms on the new banknotes were a secure watermarking feature to prevent counterfeiting, after online critics suggested it was a covert message of support for LGBT rights.[25][26]

Current series of the Egyptian pound
Image Value Dimensions (millimeters) Main color Description Year of first issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
EGP 25 Piastres 2008 (Front).png 25piastres reverse.jpg 25 PT 130 × 70 Blue Ayesha mosque Coat of arms of Egypt 1985
50 piastres obverse.jpg 50 piastres reverse.jpg 50 PT 135 × 70 Brown/yellow-green Al-Azhar Mosque Ramesses II 1985
1EGP-2001(5).png 1pound Egypt reverse.jpg LE 1 140 × 70 Beige Mosque and mausoleum of Qaitbay Abu Simbel temples 1978
5EGP-2012.png 5EGP(2).png LE 5 145 × 70 Bluish-green Mosque of Ibn Tulun A Pharaonic engraving of Hapi (god of the annual flooding of the Nile) offering bounties. 1981
10polemr-face-2022.jpg 10polemr-back-2022.jpg LE 10 132 × 70 Orange Al-Fattah Al-Aleem Mosque Hatshepsut 2022
Egypt 20 Pound 2009 obverse.jpg Egypt 20 Pound 2009 reverse.jpg LE 20 155 × 70 Green Mosque of Muhammad Ali A Pharaonic war chariot and frieze from the chapel of Senusret I 1978
EGP 50 Pounds Dec 2001 (Front).jpg EGP 50 Pounds Dec 2001 (Back).jpg LE 50 160 × 70 Brownish-red Abu Hurayba Mosque

(Qijmas al-Ishaqi Mosque)

Temple of Edfu 1993
EGP 100 Pounds 2009 (Front).jpg 100 EGP reverse 2014-1-26.jpg LE 100 165 × 70 Cyan Sultan Hassan Mosque Great Sphinx of Giza 1994
EGP 200 Pounds Apr 2007 (Front).jpg EGP 200 Pounds Apr 2007 (Back).jpg LE 200 165 × 72 Olive Mosque of Qani-Bay The Seated Scribe 2007

Historical and current exchange rates[edit]

Sterling[edit]

This table shows the value of £1 sterling in Egyptian pounds:

Date Official rate
1885 to 1949 LE 0.975
2008 LE 10.0775
2009 LE 8.50
2012 LE 9.68
2014 LE 11.97 to LE 12.03
2016 LE 12.60 to LE 21.21
2017 LE 20.00
2020 LE 19.53
2022 LE 24.40

US dollar[edit]

The historical value of one US dollar in Egyptian currency from 1789 to present, figures prior to 1834, the year the pound was introduced, indicate multiples of 100 piastres

This table shows the historical value of US$1 in Egyptian currency (piastres prior to 1834, pounds thenceforth):

Date Official rate
1789 to 1799 3 PT
1800 to 1824 6 PT
1825 to 1884 14 PT (LE 0.14)
1885 to 1939 LE 0.20
1940 to 1949 LE 0.25
1950 to 1967 LE 0.36
1968 to 1978 LE 0.40
1979 to 1988 LE 0.60
1989 LE 0.83
1990 LE 1.50
1991 LE 3.00
1992 LE 3.33
1993 to 1998 LE 3.39
1999 LE 3.40
2000 LE 3.42 to LE 3.75
2001 LE 3.75 to LE 4.50
2002 LE 4.50 to LE 4.62
2003 LE 4.82 to LE 6.25
2004 LE 6.13 to LE 6.28
2005 to 2006 LE 5.75
2007 LE 5.640 to LE 5.50
2008 LE 5.50 to LE 5.29
2009 LE 5.75
2010 LE 5.80
2011 LE 5.95
2012 LE 6.36
2013 LE 6.50 to LE 6.96
2014 LE 6.95 to LE 7.15
2015 LE 7.15 to LE 11.00
2016 LE 15.00 to LE 18.00
2017 LE 17.70 to LE 17.83
2018 LE 17.69 to LE 17.89
2019 LE 17.89 to LE 15.99
2020 LE 16.04 to LE 15.79
2022 LE 18.49

See also[edit]

Current EGP exchange rates
From Google Finance: AUD CAD CHF CNY EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ILS JOD TRY
From Yahoo! Finance: AUD CAD CHF CNY EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ILS JOD TRY
From XE.com: AUD CAD CHF CNY EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ILS JOD TRY
From OANDA: AUD CAD CHF CNY EUR GBP HKD JPY USD ILS JOD TRY

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chami, Ralph; Espinoza, Raphael; Montiel, Peter J. (26 January 2021). Macroeconomic Policy in Fragile States. ISBN 978-0-19-885309-1.
  2. ^ a b Published by H. Plecher (2020-04-29). "• Egypt- Inflation rate 2021". Statista. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  3. ^ "Central Bank of Egypt – Historical Overview". cbe.org.eg. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  4. ^ "World Bank Editorial Style Guide 2020 - page 135" (PDF). openknowledge.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  5. ^ CIA World Factbook 2000 - page 146. 2000. ISBN 9781574882667. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  6. ^ Wood, Evelyn (1911). "Egypt/1 Modern Egypt" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). pp. 21–39, see page 28. Currency.—
  7. ^ Daily News Egypt (10 June 2008). "Alexandria City Center to undergo LE 370 million expansion". Retrieved 15 August 2022. The expansion project, which will cost an estimated £E 370 million, will add 29,117 square meters of gross leasing space to take its total offering to 62,162 square meters and over 90 additional stores.
  8. ^ FOREX sites may occasionally reverse the usual order and use "E£" "Egyptian Pound (EGP) Definition".
  9. ^ "Central Bank of Egypt – Historical Overview". cbe.org.eg. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  10. ^ "Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition – page 178". en.wikisource.org. 1899. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  11. ^ Cuhaj, George S., ed. (2009). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money Specialized Issues (11 ed.). Krause. p. 1070. ISBN 978-1-4402-0450-0.
  12. ^ Markus A. Denzel (2010). Handbook of World Exchange Rates, 1590-1914. Ashgate Publishing. p. 599. ISBN 978-0-7546-0356-6. The piastre of 1839 contained 1.146 grammes of fine silver, the piastre of 1801 approximately 4.6 grammes of fine silver. The most important Egyptian coins, the bedidlik in gold (= 100 piastres; 7.487 grammes of fine gold) and the rial in silver (20 piastres; 23.294 grammes of fine silver)
  13. ^ Feteha, Ahmed; Shahine, Alaa (3 November 2016). "Egypt Free Floats Pound, Raises Lending Rates to Spur Economy". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  14. ^ "CBE not to impose restrictions on foreign currency exchange". Egypt Independent. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  15. ^ See for example this one pound note of 1930
  16. ^ Occasionally, though uncommonly, rendered as "E£"
  17. ^ "Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition – page 178". en.wikisource.org. 1899. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  18. ^ "Developments of Note Issue". 10 December 2004. Archived from the original on 10 December 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Coins from Egypt – Numista".
  20. ^ "Nach Thund". Nachthund.biz. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  21. ^ ""المركزى": تراجع قيمة الجنيه لن يدفعنا لطرح ورقة نقدية من فئة 500 - اليوم السابع". Youm7.com. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  22. ^ "عودة الجنيه المصري الورقي اليوم بعد اختفائه أكثر من 5 سنوات". Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  23. ^ "Egypt to roll out new plastic currency starting 2021: Amer". Amwal Al Ghad. 2020-09-12. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  24. ^ "ننشر أول صور للعملات البلاستيكية الجديدة فئة 10 و20 جنيها". صدى البلد (in Arabic). 2021-08-01. Retrieved 2021-08-02.
  25. ^ Powys Maurice, Emily (3 August 2021). "Bank of Egypt forced to confirm new rainbow note isn't for LGBT+ rights after backlash". PinkNews. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  26. ^ "CBE confirms continued validity of all paper currencies". Egypt Independent. 3 August 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]