Yehya Aboul Fotouh, vice chairperson of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), said that the decisions made by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE)’s Governor Tarek Amer had positive impacts on the Egyptian economy and the banks working in Egypt.
Aboul Fotouh explained that Amer adopted the economic and monetary reform programme, and steered negotiations with the World Bank regarding it. He was also the person to make the bravest decision in the history of the Egyptian economy – the liberalisation of the exchange rate.
According to Aboul Fotouh, the flotation decision was accompanied by several other decisions which Amer was able to convince everyone of their importance. Some of these decisions were removing the deposit and withdrawal cap on foreign exchange, which solved many problems facing banks.
He added that, as a result, more than $80bn flowed into the Egyptian market in one year. Foreign exchange reserves also increased by more than $20bn. Amer was also able to pay foreign debts and banks were able to cover the demands of clients to fund their import operations, all of which are strong indicators of the success of the decisions and procedures made by Amer.
“The decline of foreign tourism and import rates, which consumed a major part of the country’s resources of foreign currency, in addition to supporting domestic tourism and encouraging the industry are all good results brought about by Amer,” said Aboul Fotouh.
He added that the performance of banks also improved after these decisions were made, as banks’ foreign currency resources increased, which, in turn, increased their activities in financing foreign trade, in addition to covering the open currency position of their clients, who were exposed before the liberalisation of the exchange rate. Moreover, banks expanded to financing SMEs after the initiative Amer launched in early 2016.