Chairperson of the Egyptian Arab Land Bank, Amr Kamal, said that that Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer is the “true economy reform engineer” and that he made history with his bold decisions, including the floatation of the pound.
Kamal asserted that Amer was the person behind these decisions and procedures – though he was supported by the state – to rectify the unstable situation that lasted for years.
“Amer took the helm of the CBE while monetary policy and the Egyptian exchange market were in very bad shape,” he said. “Amer and his team of aides bore the responsibility to rectify the mistakes of his predecessor.”
He highlighted the pound float decision as most important of Amer’s decisions, saying it was necessary to put the Egyptian economy back on the right track. He noted that nobody but Amer was courageous enough to make such decision.
Moreover, Kamal said that the impacts of his decisions are tangible: the currency black market is gone and about $80bn have poured into the economy in one year, including foreign investments in government debt instruments, remittances from Egyptians abroad, and loans and bonds that the state has sold.
He also praised Amer’s decision to cancel the CBE’s weekly tenders that were used to sell dollars to banks, noting that they [the tenders] wasted billions of dollars, which pushed Egypt’s foreign exchange rates off a cliff.
“Amer and the CBE sub-governors have managed to rebuild the reserves to reach $36.5bn – a record high,” Kamal noted. “This has happened despite the commitment to repaying foreign liabilities and loans on time and securing the state’s hard cash needs.”
He added that Amer also played a prominent role in signing the $12bn loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), next to signing several agreements with other financing institutions, and currency exchange agreements that helped support Egyptian foreign currency reserves.
In addition, Kamal said that the CBE launched initiatives to support different economic sectors, such as the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) support initiative and the tourism support program.
Finally, he pointed out that the CBE is leaving the exchange rate floating, based on supply and demand, whilst meeting hard cash needs for clients of all banks, as well as covering clients’ exposure to risk, are all evidence of Amer’s success.