The Egyptian government has created an economic DNA that explains the economic system’s structure and business environment incentives, according to Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Banks.
Recent government-implemented structural reforms on the financial level are considered economic marks. The reforms included energy support structure, and improving the Egyptian pound exchange rate to reach a level close to the dollar. Other changes include legislative reforms like the investment law and the civil service law to reform the administrative system.
Ezz Al-Arab, who is also Commercial International Bank (CIB) chairman, said the recent reforms have contributed to delivering a positive message to financial and business communities, whether local or international. These reforms illustrate the current regime’s commitment in reformation, which eventually contributed to creating an economic DNA that will help in a strong launch of economy in the upcoming period.
He added that banks working in the Egyptian market will only provide funds for the projects agreed upon in local currency, during the recent Sharm El-Sheikh Economic Summit. Financing will not be provided in dollars, as Egypt is in great need of funding its strategic imports in dollars.
At the banking institute seminar in Ain Sokhna Saturday evening, Ezz Al-Arab said the recent procedures controlling foreign cash trading for it to be only through banks will eliminate the dollar black market. The $50,000-per-month limit on company transactions will also end the existence of two prices for the dollar, which will reassure foreign investors.
He believes the Egypt’s banks are awaiting a government decision on transferring all payments of government employees electronically. Ezz Al-Arab added that it is sufficient and can accommodate more than 6 million employees.
Ezz Al-Arab noted that some traders in the Egyptian market, who do not deal with banks when it comes to the majority of their deals, are practicing illegal activities.
He asserted that banks exert efforts to lower their customer numbers through activating Internet banking services, especially as the next generation will prefer dealing online.
The chairman added that all banks should Arabicise their websites to facilitate dealings with the public, to attract new segments and promote new projects.
Ezz Al-Arab said he returned from the Economic Summit content with its results. He was previously concerned with the national banks’ readiness to supply the new projects with the expected high funds.
He added that the government is still competing with the private sector on the banks’ money, and that the private sector has stagnated since 2011, pushing banks to invest customers’ deposits on financial public loan.
Ezz Al-Arab confirmed that the current period is witnessing an economic recovery which will raise private sector and investor demands for bank loans and that the banks are ready to fund any economic activity.
The chairman added that bank customers do not exceed 11 million, which means that 75% of the population do not own bank accounts.