The private industrial sector accounted for 62.4% of the total credit facilities granted by banks to the non-governmental economic sectors at the end of March 2017, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
In its monthly bulletin on the performance of the banking sector, the CBE stated that the total balances of credit facilities granted by banks rose by EGP 79.6bn between February and March 2017 to register EGP 1.3436tn, up from EGP 1.2639tn.
The industrial sector alone accounted for 36.5% of the loans, ranking first amongst all the other sectors. In second place followed the services sector, including tourism, with 28.5% of the credit facilities, then trade with 10.5%.
The agriculture sector tailed the list with only 1.1% of the facilities until the end of March 2017.
A number of other sectors were not listed in detail in the CBE’s report. Collectively, these sectors—including the household sector—which received 23.4% of total facilities.
Ezz El-Din Hassanein, a banking and economic expert and general manager at a bank operating in Egypt, said that Egypt needs more credit facilities granted to the industrial sector in the coming period because of its important role in the economy.
He explained that the industrial sector is the most important sector to help increase economic growth, reduce unemployment, and increase employment rates, in addition to lifting the foreign exchange reserves of export earnings.
Hassanein criticized the weakness of granted facilities to the agriculture sector, versus other sectors such as retail banking.
“The agriculture sector is vital for the Egyptian economy,” he said, “It is directly linked to all basic commodities of Egyptians and helps increase exports.”
He explained that each bank has their own priority list of which sectors to finance, and private banks are less likely to contribute to the desperate needs of the agriculture, tourism, and trade sectors. Hassanein stated that public banks are more likely to finance the commodities and services sectors.