CBE com­pletes new Bank­ing Law draft, sends it to FEB for re­view

FOR­EIGN EX­CHANGE SHORT­AGE IS OVER AS EGYPT COL­LECTED $45BN SINCE FLOTA­TION, SAYS CBE GOVER­NOR

The Daily News Egypt - - Business - By Hos­sam Mounir

The Cen­tral Bank of Egypt (CBE) fin­ished pre­par­ing a draft law to up­date the CBE and the Bank­ing Sys­tem Law No. 88 of 2003, ac­cord­ing to CBE Gover­nor Tarek Amer.

Amer ex­plained that the draft law was pre­pared in ac­cor­dance with the best in­ter­na­tional prac­tices in the bank­ing busi­ness, fol­low­ing a num­ber of vis­its to cen­tral banks, such as the Bank of Eng­land. He noted that it also used re­views of World Bank ex­perts and from the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund.

He pointed out that the draft law will be sent to the Fed­er­a­tion of Egyp­tian Banks to comment be­fore sub­mit­ting it to the board of the CBE to make the law a sur­vey for the am­bi­tions of de­vel­op­ing the CBE and the bank­ing sec­tor busi­ness.

Amer had met on Tues­day evening with lead­ers of banks op­er­at­ing in Egypt, along with the se­nior of­fi­cials of the CBE.

Dur­ing the meet­ing,Amer noted that the role played by the bank­ing sec­tor to im­ple­ment the CBE de­ci­sion had a great im­pact on restor­ing the con­fi­dence in the bank­ing sec­tor. He added that this was praised by many in­ter­na­tional bod­ies, es­pe­cially af­ter un­lock­ing the loan agree­ment with the IMF, the com­ple­tion of the first re­view of the eco­nomic re­form pro­gramme, and near­ing the dis­burse­ment of the loan’s sec­ond tranche.

Amer also stressed the strength of the Egyp­tian bank­ing sec­tor high­light­ing the opin­ions of the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF) ex­perts, not­ing that the deal of sell­ing Bar­clays Bank Egypt to At­ti­jari­wafa Bank re­flects the pos­si­ble ex­pan­sion op­por­tu­ni­ties in the bank­ing sec­tor.

Amer also dis­cussed the as­pects of con­sol­i­dat­ing gover­nance and in­ter­nal over­sight, not­ing that this be­gins with a strong in­de­pen­dent board of directors that ful­fills it role across dif­fer­ent strate­gic trends to im­ple­ment poli­cies and mon­i­tor the per­for­mance of the ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­pa­ra­tus.

He stressed that the Egyp­tian bank­ing sec­tor is full of ex­per­tise and ca­pac­i­ties that en­able it to ful­fill its role.

More­over, Amer sug­gested that banks should open branches in the New Ad­min­is­tra­tive Cap­i­tal to make it an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial hub.

In this re­gard, chair­per­son of the Arab African In­ter­na­tional Bank Has­san Ab­dalla sug­gested of­fer­ing banks in­cen­tives to build branches there and at­tract in­ter­na­tional banks.

Amer also touched on the im­por­tance of banks’ sup­port to the small and medium en­ter­prises (SMEs) and mico en­ter­prises sec­tor, as it is the way to build a strong econ­omy, stat­ing that it also sup­ports eco­nomic growth rates.

Deputy CBE Gover­nor Lobna He­lal stressed the im­por­tance of the banks’ prepa­ra­tions to achieve fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion and tak­ing in­ter­est in fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of the women’s role in im­prov­ing the sys­tem, sup­port­ing the econ­omy through en­abling them fi­nan­cially.

In a dif­fer­ent con­text,Amer said that Egypt paid $750m on Tues­day to in­ter­na­tional oil com­pa­nies and is set to pay a sim­i­lar amount in June.

Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the Cab­i­net’s head­quar­ters, he noted that the Egyp­tian mar­ket col­lected $45bn since the flota­tion of the pound on 3 Novem­ber 2016.

He added that the mone­tary mea­sures that were taken re­cently were pri­mar­ily di­rected to­wards the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try and not the prices of goods, not­ing that the hard cur­rency short­age has ended and that prices will get back to nor­mal next year.

He pointed out that the CBE aims to re­move the $100,000 cap on trans­fers of in­di­vid­u­als ac­cord­ing to a timetable agreed upon with the IMF at the end of last year.

Tarek Amer had met on Tues­day evening with lead­ers of banks op­er­at­ing in Egypt, along with the se­nior of­fi­cials of the CBE.

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