The International Finance Corp plans to conduct currency swaps in Egypt to help local firms meet their foreign exchange needs, and is considering whether to issue local currency bondsin several Middle Eastern countries to fund investments there.
"In the Middle East the challenge is not the lack of capital but the access to dollars by local banks," IFC chief executive Jin-Yong Cai said in an interview.
"Just like we did in other places globally, we'll come up with an instrument to swap dollars for local currency in Egypt. We need local currency and some other private investors need dollars. It's in a way a hedging for investments."
Some Egyptian firms are finding it increasingly hard to obtain U.S. dollars for imports, debt repayments and other purposes, after political unrest slashed the country's foreign reserves over the past two years and authorities imposed capital controls.
Cai did not elaborate on how and when the IFC, a unit of the World Bank which invests in developing the private sector in emerging economies, would conduct the swaps.