Egypt central bank to cancel $100,000 individual bank transfer limit

Reuters , Tuesday 16 May 2017

Central Bank of Egypt
Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt, November 3, 2016. (Reuters)

Egypt's central bank governor Tarek Amer said on Tuesday the central bank will "soon" cancel a $100,000 limit on individual bank transfers.

Under currency transfer restrictions brought in after the 2011 uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak, the central bank limits the amount of hard currency an individual can transfer abroad per year to $100,000.

"The limits of $100,000 relating to individuals will be cancelled ... We have no need for foreign currency limits," Amer told a news conference in Cairo.

Egypt has struggled to revive its economy in the wake of the 2011 revolution, which drove away tourists and foreign investors, both major sources of hard currency.

A dollar shortage crippled imports and public debt ballooned, in part because of huge subsidy costs and poor tax collection.

In a dramatic move in November, the central bank floated the currency and agreed a $12 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund to support its reform programme.

The IMF agreement requires Egypt to scrap the $100,000 cap on individuals' transfers abroad and a $50,000 monthly cap on non-priority imports by June. 

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