Egypt’s central bank loosened controls on monthly corporate foreign currency cash deposit limits for imports of staple goods in response to market demand for greater flexibility. The central bank raised the monthly cash deposit limit from $50,000 to $250,000 and eliminated the daily $10,000 deposit cap corporates of essential goods were subjected to when making foreign currency cash deposits into their bank accounts. It also allowed importers of essentials goods to carry forward to the following month the unused portion of the balance of $250,000 monthly cash deposit limit.
The range of essentials goods and products covered by the central bank’s directive include: basic commodities and food supplies; machinery and production equipment and parts; intermediate goods, production components and raw materials; pharmaceuticals and special chemical products.
The central bank retained the $50,000 monthly and $10,000 daily cash deposit limit on corporates importing non-essential goods as well as on individuals imposed last February in an attempt to eradicate a foreign currency black market and tackle the country’s foreign exchange crisis.
The change in the central bank’s policy is the first sign of a more pragmatic attitude towards import financing promised by Tarek Amer since he took over the central bank’s governor post last November following the conservative Hesham Ramez.
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