Egypt's CBE lifts foreign currency caps on importers of non-essential goods

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 Nov 2017

Non-essential goods
A worker sells food commodities at a government-run supermarket in Cairo, Egypt, Feb.14, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) lifted on Tuesday the monthly cap on foreign currency deposits and withdrawals imposed on importers of non-essential goods, state-run news agency MENA reported. 

In October 2016, Egypt's Chamber of Commerce banned the import of more than 50 types of nonessential goods before the CBE introduced caps on importers in November 2016. Deposits were capped at $50,000 and withdrawals at $30,000 per month, with a $10,000 a day limit, in an attempt to eradicate the foreign currency black market and tackle the country's foreign exchange crisis.

According to the chamber, non-essential goods include processed fruits, oils, chocolate and dairy products, cosmetics, detergents, home appliances, furniture cloth, dental care products, stationery, mineral water and soft drinks. 

In March 2017, the CBE removed caps on individuals withdrawing or depositing foreign currency at banks.

In November 2016, the CBE floated the pound and raised key interest rates as part of a set of reforms aimed at alleviating the dollar shortage.

At the end of October 2017, Egypt recorded the highest foreign reserves in its history at $36.703 billion, the Central Bank of Egypt announced in a statement earlier this month.

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