The US$ 3 billion deposit Egypt received from Qatar two months ago as part of an aid package has since been transferred to Qatar’s National Bank in Egypt, which had earlier purchased the National Bank Societe Generale, said a banking source.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) "pressured" Qatar to transfer the recent deposit to bonds, according to sources speaking on condition of anonymity.
Both CBE and Cabinet earlier rejected a request from the Qatari government to keep the deposit as it is. They instead insisted on transferring it to dollar bonds for its direct impact on the net foreign cash reserve.
The sources added that the recent Qatari deposit could have been withdrawn or put down at anytime if kept at Qatar’s National Bank. The deposit is not foreign reserve that can be invested abroad while being run by CBE.
Qatar approved the trasnferral of the remaining deposit, estimated at US$ 2 billion, into bonds on the same day CBE granted US$1.3 billion as dollar tender to cover basic and strategic goods. This move strengthened the Egyptian pound, which gained 9 piasters on the dollar.
A high-ranking banking source said a week ago CBE would not have transferred the deposit to dollar bonds if an agreement between the two countries had not been agreed.
US$ 1 billion of the deposit was transferred to bonds by the beginning of July.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm