Central Bank of Egypt: Losses caused by protests not calculated

The vice-president of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Hisham Ramez, has said it is too early to gauge the impact of the country's recent political turmoil on tourism, banking and stock market activities.

In an exclusive statement, he said that despite the crisis the central bank remains unconcerned about the exchange market and US dollar's interbank rates. He stressed that the rate of foreign acquisition of treasury bills did not exceed eight percent, which he said does not represent a source of concern given the bank's reserve of US$34 billion.

Ramez also assured that there were no problems with cash withdrawals, arguing that the CBE has a sufficient reserve, which encouraged the bank to respond to requests to set the daily maximum of withdrawal at LE50,000 (US$10,000).

"For now, our main concern is for the Egyptian economy to get over the recent crisis. We will meet our external obligations on time, including debt installments, treasury bills and treasury bonds," Ramez said.

He denied receiving any requests to dissolve or shut down any branches of foreign banks in Egypt. He made assurances there are no fears over the EGP rate against the USD during the crisis or after the resumption of work in the financial sector.

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