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Egypt Currency

ISO 4217 code
Central bank
Central Bank of Egypt
Official user(s)
Unofficial user(s)
Gaza Strip (Palestinian
territories), alongside
Israeli new sheqel
8.5% (2012 estimate)
Piastre (ﻗﺮﺵ, Ersh)
Millime (ﻣﻠﻴﻢ, Mallīm)
LE, EGP, E£ or ﺝ.ﻡ
Piastre (ﻗﺮﺵ, Ersh)
25pt, 50pt, £1
£5, £10, £20, £50,
£100, £200
The Egyptian pound
(Arabic: ﺟﻨﻴﻪ ﻣﺼﺮﻯ
Genēh Maṣri Egyptian
Arabic pronunciation:
[ɡeˈneː(h) ˈmɑsˤɾi]
or in Alexandrian accent:
Geni Maṣri [ˈɡeni
ˈmɑsˤɾi]) (sign: E£ or
ﺝ.ﻡ ; code: EGP) is the
currency of Egypt. It is
divided into 100
piastres, or ersh (ﻗﺮﺵ
[ʔeɾʃ]; plural ﻗﺮﻭﺵ
[ʔʊˈɾuːʃ]; German:
Groschen), or 1,000
millimes (Arabic: ﻣﻠﻴﻢ
[mælˈliːm]; French:
The ISO 4217 code is
EGP. Locally, the
abbreviation LE or L.E.,
which stands for livre
égyptienne ( French for
Egyptian pound) is
frequently used. E£ and
£E are rarely used. The
name Genēh / Geni [ɡe
ˈneː(h), ˈɡeni] is
derived from the Guinea
coin, which had almost
the same value of 100
piastres at the end of
the 19th century.
In 1834, a Khedival
Decree was issued
providing for the issuing
of an Egyptian currency
based on a bimetallic
base, i.e.: based on gold
and silver. 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 1⁄100 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
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 E£1
= 7.4375 grams pure
gold. At the outbreak of
World War I, the
Egyptian pound was
pegged to the British
pound sterling at EG
£0.975 per GB£1.
The first E£1 banknote
issued in 1899
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 EG£1 = US$
2.3. This peg was
changed to 1 pound =
2.55555 dollars in 1973
when the dollar was
devalued. The pound
was itself devalued in
1978 to a peg of 1
pound = 1.42857 dollars
(1 dollar = 0.7 pound).
The pound floated in
1989; however, the
float is tightly managed
by the Central Bank of
Egypt and foreign
exchange controls
are in effect.
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.
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
For a wider history
surrounding currency in
the region, see British
currency in the Middle

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