The total deposits in the banking sector amounted EGP 1.6tn, and the funding size increased to EGP 640m, Hisham Okasha, chairman of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) said.
Okasha’s statement came during the Arab Banking Conference 2015, entitled “Financing for Development”, held Monday.
Okasha demanded that companies reconsider the retail banking sector and expand small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to attract labour. He explained that there are significant challenges, especially since 40% of the total GDP comes from the informal economic sector.
It is important to select the projects need to be funded, which aim at increasing employment or development, in addition to increasing savings, he said.
Okasha stressed the need for raising awareness among customers on protecting and developing their savings and fighting against fraud. He added that there is the need for a clear economic plan after the Economic Summit, such as the expansion of energy and infrastructure projects to attract investment.
Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hisham Ramez said the CBE is scheduled to significantly provide foreign exchangereserves in the upcoming period.
Ramez added that the upcoming period will witness the continuation and exchange of experiences among Arab banks. This is especially as the challenges will not be in regional economies only, but will include the global economy.
Ramez noted there are risks and challenges facing the global economy, which reflect on the Egyptian economy, making it necessary to define our priorities.
“People who have bank accounts and deal with the banking sector in Egypt are less than individuals outside banking sector, so banks have to work on creating investment opportunities and attract the informal sector from non-bank dealers,” added Ramez.
International Union of Arab Bankers Chairman Joseph Tarabay said the losses resulting from the Eastern Mediterranean countries experiencing revolutions, war and bombings amounted to $250bn.
Tarabay added that many Arab countries are stable, but at the same time the economic situations is not good, especially after the decline in oil prices and losses amounting to $215bn.
Tarabay noted that the Arab countries have great investment opportunities, and have the potential to have partnerships with other Arab countries to achieve sustainable development.
Tarabay called for investments funds to finance SMEs, as the banking sector cannot cover all the financing.