INTERVIEW-Egypt pound will not collapse - presidential aide
* Pound has reached level of stability - aide
* Says pound will recover when political situation stabilises
* Black market in hard currency has sprung up
CAIRO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The Egyptian pound will not collapse and its incremental depreciation has stabilised, a senior aide to Islamist President Mohamed Mursi said on Sunday.
Essam Haddad, Mursi's deputy chief of staff and foreign policy adviser, told Reuters in an interview that he did not expect the pound to fall further after it lost more than 8 percent against the dollar since the start of the year.
"I think it has reached a level of stability," he said.
"So as long as it (depreciation) is going incrementally and in a way that is market sensitive, then there is no harm in this," Haddad said.
"What we have to be very careful of is to (avoid) a drastic change, or a complete fall or collapse. And this is something we are not seeing in the foreseeable future and we hope that it will recover."
A black market in hard currency has sprung up in recent weeks due to a shortage of dollars, with street traders quoting the pound at more than 7 to the dollar compared to an official rate of 6.73.
Regulated foreign exchange bureaux are swamped by demand for dollars and cannot meet the demand, the head of the foreign exchange department at the Chambers of Commerce said.
A senior business leader affiliated with the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Malek, told Reuters in an interview that people expected further devaluation of the pound.
"I'm not, of course, a technical (expert) but people expect a little bit of devaluation in the future," he said when asked whether he expected a further depreciation of the currency to help exports and tourism.
He said the economy was going through a very difficult period because the transition to democracy launched by the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak was not yet complete and institutions were not working fully.
Asked about such concerns, Haddad said: "When the situation starts to stabilise more on the political side, I believe the Egyptian pound will be even stronger."
There had been calls from the business community to change the exchange rate to boost the economy by improving exports and making Egypt more attractive for foreign investors, and those changes had now occurred, he said.
"Market forces will act on this and decide what is the best value for the Egyptian pound," Haddad added.
(Writing by Paul Taylor; Editing by Alison Williams)