Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer said that the bank will not hesitate to take the measures it deems appropriate to curb inflation.
During his speech at the Arab Banking Conference that took place on Wednesday in Cairo, Amer stressed that central banks must take the necessary measures to curb inflation, regardless of the temporary repercussions.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, we intervened with international reserves to pay our international obligations,” Amer said, noting that these plans were met with praise from international assessment institutions and that the CBE was selected among the top 10 global central banks. Moreover, he added that international reserves are “not sacred.”
He went on to say that the state made a simple correction to the exchange rate to avoid the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which was reflected in an increase in foreign flows by about 30% in March.
Amer also pointed out that the CBE pledged that people who have EGP would always be winners and better than those who have any other currency, adding that banks have offered certificates with a return of 18% to compensate citizens for the high inflation.
“In Egypt, we are dealing with proactive plans to confront any international crises, not reactions,” he added.
Amer also pointed out that the banking sector pumped EGP 2.5 trillion into various sectors of the economy — especially the industrial, production, and agricultural sectors — and contributed to supporting the economy in the face of successive crises.
Furthermore, he said that the CBE adopts policies aiming to support the economy, preserve state resources, and prevent shocks and their impact on citizens.
He also pointed out that the number of people dealing with the banking sector has reached over 38m clients, which means that there is at least a bank account for every family, which is considered a success for the banking sector.
Additionally, Amer pointed out that the CBE is working to bring about a significant development in electronic payment operations and digital transformation, adding that regulations for digital banks will be released in the coming weeks.
He also announced in a press statement that negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are going well and that the fund is happy to work with Egypt, explaining that there are no difficult conditions imposed by the IMF on the country and that there are no conditions that affect citizens in the first place.
Amer added that it is expected that the value of the funding will not be large, as the aim of resorting to the fund is to benefit from the structural reforms.
Furthermore, he said that the market’s non-performing debt portfolio declined from 45% in 2003 to 3.5% at the end of last December, adding that the banks’ capital adequacy ratio increased to 22.5% at the end of last December — all of are very high rates.
Amer also noted that the ratio of liquidity in foreign currency recorded 67%, and the ratio of loans to deposits in the market is 48%, adding that there is a lot of liquidity available in various sectors of the economy.