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Thursday, 05 August 2021

Egypt’s CBE extends its preventive measures against pandemic's negative impacts through end of 2021

The decision was made to preserve Egypt’s gains from its economic reform programme and to maintain the country’s banking system’s stability

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 23 Jun 2021
File Photo: Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo. REUTERS

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has decided to extend the number of measures it has adopted since the onset of the pandemic for the sake of containing the COVID-19 pandemic’s severe impacts through the end of 2021, the CBE announced on Wednesday.

The CBE said the action came in implementation of the strategy of Egypt’s National Council of Payments under the chairmanship of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as well as in continuing the CBE’s preventive efforts for the sake of protecting the national economy from the negative impacts of the pandemic.

The decision was also made to preserve Egypt’s gains from its economic reform programme and to maintain the country’s banking system’s stability, according to the CBE.

The extended measures include exempting clients from all fees and commissions on banking transfers that are carried out using the Egyptian Pound, opening electronic portfolios for free, suspending fees and commissions on transfer operations either between mobile phone wallets or from a mobile phone wallet to a banking account. 

They also include suspending fees and commissions on cash withdrawals, as well as issuing contactless prepaid cards for free, according to the CBE.

It has also extended the suspension of activation fees electronic collection operations for e-commerce activity, including monthly fees and fees for obtaining additional services.

Since March 2020, the CBE adopted a package of preventive and pro-active procedures to protect the economy against the harsh implications of the pandemic.

These procedures included cutting the key interest rates by an unprecedented four percent (400 bps).

They also included launching a number of initiatives that aim to protect a number of sectors amid the pandemic, including the tourism, industry, and agriculture sectors.

In December 2020, the CBE announced the extension of its facilities for the tourism sector and its workers for six months amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The grace period of loans for tourism sector workers has been extended to the end of 2021. The first instalment will mature in January 2022, according to the CBE.

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