Egypt’s Central Bank to write off debts for 5,000 factories, 67,000 individuals: Tarek Amer

Photo: Shawn Baldwin/Bloomberg

 

The Central Bank of Egypt will write off debts for 5,000 factories and 67,000 individuals over the coming weeks, Central Bank governor Tarek Amer said during the Al-Ahram Business Leaders Awards ceremony held at Al-Ahram establishment in Cairo on Thursday.

The ceremony — which was attended by head of the Journalists Syndicate and head of Al-Ahram’s board of director Abdel-Mohsen Salama as well as editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram Arabic daily Gamal El-Keshki — saw Amer handed Al-Ahram’s award as the best central bank governor in Egypt’s history. The event, which was held to award Amer for his role in the country’s economic sector over the past few years, was attended by top banking officials as well as many bank CEOs.

Also awarded during the event were the CIB, the Housing and Development Bank, the Arab African International Bank, Banque Du Caire, Banque Misr, and the National Bank of Egypt.  Amer said in his speech that “interest rates were the reason behind the factories’ debts, and we will be cancelling all court cases for these factories.”

Amer added that the bank will also be forgiving debts for many Egyptian farmers and workers. The Central Bank governor also said the bank will continue with economic reforms in an attempt to achieve stability and overcome the country’s current crisis phase.

“We want stability for other generations and we want to live in security and have people feel hope for the future,” Amer said. Amer also said that Egypt has never witnessed such high foreign reserves, which have reached $44 billion.

“Everyone knows our strong economic position, which is no longer comparable to the past,” said Amer. The governor said that this will give confidence and support for the country’s economy in meeting the needs of Egyptians as well as investors.

Amer also said that Egypt has been able to implement its economic reform programme with support and advice from the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. He added that cooperation between the different government institutions has also helped. “I feel secure about our current position… we will see Egypt reach a new place in the coming four to five years.”

Egypt has been implementing its economic reform programme since the country signed a loan deal with the IMF in 2016.The reforms include cutting fuel subsidies, implementing a value added tax and floating the Egyptian currency. The government is expected to further cut fuel subsidies at the start of the new fiscal year in July.

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