Egypt's Central Bank issues new measures to boost economy

Ahram Online, Wednesday 6 Feb 2013

Restrictions on foreign currency transfers will be raised for Egyptian expatriates

Egypt's central bank (Photo: Reuters)

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has this week issued new measures aimed at easing regulations on the transfer of funds into and out of the country, and to facilitate importation of basic goods.

In late December, Morsi said transfers to and from Egypt exceeding $10,000 would not permitted, in a move designed to tighten foreign currency transfers.

Under the new measures, Egyptian expatriates will be able to transfer any amount of foreign currency out of their Egyptian bank accounts if they provide their bank with proof that their investments in the country are partially or completely over.

CBE added that with this measure Egyptian expats would be encouraged to increase their foreign exchange transfers into Egypt.

The central bank also said that importers of basic commodities, such as food, medicines, fodder, machineries and petroleum products would be exempted from the compulsory requirement to place collateral (50 per cent of the transaction value) in a local bank.

A local bank will be able to vary the amount of collateral it requires from the importer from between 0 and 50 per cent.

This exemption will be in place until June 2013, the central bank said. Local banks should give the aforementioned basic commodities priority over other imported goods when supplying their importers with dollars to complete their transactions.

Ahmed Sheha, the head of the importers division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce told Ahram Online that the bank's new measures would ease the process of importation of basic goods.

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