Egypt annuls low-interest loan initiatives supporting tourism sector

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Jul 2023

Egypt’s cabinet approved on Monday the cancellation of the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiatives providing low-interest loans to workers in the tourism sector.

File Photo: Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan Governorate (Photo: AFP)
File Photo: Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan Governorate (Photo: AFP)


The CBE said it may release a new financing initiative for the tourism sector in coordination with the ministries of finance and tourism and antiquities.

The launch of the new initiative will require the approval of the prime minister, the CBE added.

The CBE has been offering initiatives in recent years to support companies working in the tourism sector. In December, the CBE decided to extend two initiatives.

The first initiative was launched in 2013 and amended in 2021 to support the sector amid the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched in 2015, the second initiative was meant to provide retail loans to the sector’s workers.

Tourism revenues surged by 25.7 percent to $7.3 billion in the first half of FY 2022/2023, up from $5.8 billion a year earlier.

The CBE is committed to ending its subsidized lending schemes at interest rates lower than the official policy rate, under a $3 billion four-year loan programme with the International Monetary Fund that was signed in December.

In a circular in November 2022, the CBE notified banks operating in the Egyptian market that they would no longer manage low-interest rate initiatives issued by the bank across several sectors in the country, handing off the responsibility to the Ministry of Finance.

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