Foreign investment outflow on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) recorded $500m, said Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Tarek Amer on Sunday.
Amer’s statements came during a phone interview with TV programme Ala Masouliti. The CBE Governor announced that the CBE has put new limits for cash deposits and withdrawals from bank branches and ATMs.
“CBE has EGP 1trn of excess liquidity, while deferred loan installments recorded EGP 1.8trn,” Amer added.
“We take all the necessary measures to prevent overcrowding during salary and pension disbursement,” he added, noting that the CBE has 15m e-wallets, and 15 million citizens conduct online banking.
“The dominance of cash transactions is unacceptable,” Amer asserted.
He confirmed that the CBE is to require companies to pursue online banking, saying that “it is unacceptable that big companies are still using cash transactions.” Amer revealed that CBE is considering imposing fees on cash transactions. These procedures will be reviewed within two weeks.
Amer explained that the CBE will be unable to drop interests on the 6-month deferred loan installments, as it will cost banks huge losses. He said that further interest rate cuts are possible, if the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continued.
The CBE is working to protect existing investments, while dropping EGP 40bn debts in the industrial and economic sectors.
The CBE is also evaluating customer behaviours, working on gradually ending cash transactions.
He added that Egyptians spend roughly $3.5bn in overseas travel, with $34bn returning home in remittances from Egyptian expats.
The CBE has the ability to help the Egyptian economy avoid the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, with the country able to absorb many previous international crises, Amer stressed. He revealed that Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves are about $45bn, while external debt recorded $50bn.