Al-Sisi directs banks in Egypt to continue local market support, development financing

Hossam Mounir
3 Min Read

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has directed for the country’s banking system to continue its efforts supporting the local market and financing the development process.

The President’s directives came during a meeting, on Tuesday, with Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Tarek Amer. The meeting was held in the presence of CBE’s Deputy Governors Gamal Negm and Rami Aboul Naga.

The directives are to ensure the country achieves its desired goals, and support micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises ((MSMEs) and those that deal with social protection. The move to focus on these areas will ensure that Egypt can reduce the repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for all citizens.

The meeting reviewed financial and monetary developments that have been made in Egypt to deal with the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a Presidency Spokesperson statement said.

During the meeting, Amer explained that all indications show the Egyptian state’s ability to deal with the repercussions of the pandemic, to maintain the stability of its financial and monetary indicators. According to the figures and data presented in the balance of payments for the past fiscal year (FY) 2019/20, Egypt proved its stability in exchange rates and inflation rates, compared to other emerging countries.

Amer reviewed banking system activities during the course of the coronavirus pandemic so far, with Egypt’s banks successfully pumping a significant volume of liquidity into the local market. The increase in liquidity has sought to provide foreign and local currency, in addition to ensuring all government sector needs are taken care of to finance the development process.

He pointed to the doubling in volume of local loans over the past fiscal year compared to previous rates, as well as the banking system’s stronger role in financing presidential initiatives.

About EGP 180bn has been invested in 120,000 companies as part of the initiative to support MSMEs, which has in turn affected as many as one million citizens. This has occurred alongside the CBE’s launch of  savings certificates at 15% interest.

Amer confirmed that these results were achieved due to the strength of Egypt’s banking system and its high financial safety indicators. These exceed the rates required for counterpart countries at the global level, whether in terms of capital strength, liquidity and profitability.

Egypt’s strength in this regard is reflected in its recent successful and speedy conclusion of two financing packages with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), totalling $5.2bn, without any requirements to fill any future financing gaps.

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