Central Bank of Egypt keeps key interest rates ‘unchanged’
Published 2016-04-28 18:01:35| Amwal Al Ghad English
Egypt's central bank has decided Thursday to keep its key interest rates unchanged in its first decision since it raised rates by 150 basis points last month. The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept the overnight deposit rate at 10.75 percent and the overnight lending rate at 11.75 percent, it said in a statement. Egypt has been struggling to restore economic growth since a mass uprising in 2011 against veteran leader Hosni Mubarak ushered in a period of political uncertainty that has scared away tourists and foreign investors, the major sources of hard currency. Reserves have more than halved since 2011 to stand at $16.56 billion in March. The central bank had been taking measures to support the pound but on March 14 it devalued the currency to 8.85 per dollar from 7.73. Two days later it strengthened it slightly to 8.78 per dollar as it adopted a more flexible exchange rate policy. In an attempt to curb inflationary pressures after the devaluation, the central bank exceeded expectations and raised its overnight deposit rate to 10.75 percent from 9.25 percent and the overnight lending rate to 11.75 percent from 10.25 percent at its last meeting on March 17. Eight out of 10 contributors to a Reuters poll had said they expected the committee to keep rates unchanged on Thursday, while two contributors expected a hike. Annual urban consumer inflation eased for the third consecutive month in March to 9 percent from 9.1 percent in February.
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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed Thursday an agreement to extend its partnership with Egypt’s Social Fund for Development (SFD) for three additional years. The partnership aims to strengthen the capacities for SFD in order to: (i) enhance institutional and operational efficiency, (ii) improve planning, monitoring and evaluation for development results, (iii) increase access to improved financial and non-financial services for SMEs, and (iv) improve methodologies and business processes targeting human and community development interventions to become more sustainable and aligned with the local environment. The partnership will continue its support to the Public Works Programme to provide jobs to the most marginalised people throughout the country as a form of social protection since 2012, with the generous financial support from the Government of Japan.
Egypt-based property developer, Tatweer Misr has promoted the first phase of its Fouka Bay project in the North Coast, the Managing Director, Ahmed Shalaby said Saturday. The project’s first phase includes 170 units while the whole project is implemented upon four phases over five years with investments amounting to 2 billion Egyptian pounds. Rolling out on 1 million sqm of land, Fouka Bay conveniently situated in Ras Al Hekmah 210 km west of Alexandria and 70 km from Marsa Matrouh. On the other hand, Tatweer Misr submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Housing to develop an entire project at the New Administrative Capital. The proposal included development of 500 to 1,000 acres. The company is now awaiting the ministry’s approval and the implementation scheme. The new capital integrates the company’s project in Ain Sokhna, especially after completing the national roads networks.
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