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Egypt's top banker turns down vice-PM post

Tareq Amer, one of Egypt's top bankers reveals that after a disagreement, he reversed his decision to accept the post of vice prime minister charged with forming the incoming government's economic team

Bassem Abo Alabass, Tuesday 31 Jul 2012
Amer
Tareq Amer chairman of National Bank of Egypt (Photo: AFP)
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Prominent banker Tareq Amer says he retracted his acceptance of the senior post of vice prime minister for economic affairs.

“I was asked on Saturday not only to be vice PM, but also to form and lead the economic team in the new government,” Amer told Ahram Online in a phone interview.

He added that he accepted the offer and embarked on choosing the economic ministerial team made up for those he sees as qualified. However, he reversed his acceptance of the post on Monday after what he describes as a “disagreement” occurred.

Amer refused to reveal either facts or names in relation to the disagreement.

According to Amer, the ministries that he was in charge of forming were those of finance, industry and commerce, and planning and international cooperation.

The nephew of a 1952 Revolutionary Council's member, field marshal Abdel Hakim Amer, he is currently the chairman of the country's largest bank, the National Bank of Egypt (State-owned). Amer also heads the federations of Egyptian Banks.

Amer served as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) 2007-2008. According to Bloomberg Business Week, Amer joined the CBE with 27 years of banking experience across a range of regions, including the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey, the Gulf, and Asia. In Egypt, he held senior executive positions, leading the corporate finance and investment banking business for Citibank and Bank of America for MENA and the Gulf.

On Thursday, Abdullah Shehata an economist and member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) said that the party will select Egypt's economic posts in the new cabinet. He explained that the ministers of commerce and industry, finance and planning "will not necessarily be from the FJP but will be chosen by the party."

Shehata also added that the ministry of investment is likely to be revived in the upcoming government.

Last week Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi appointed Hisham Qandil as his new prime minister, in a move that surprised many observers and commentators. Qandil was minister of irrigation and water resources in the interim government of Kamal El-Ganzouri.

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