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Egypt’s Central Bank To Lift Dollar Cap

Central Bank of Egypt lifts the cap on cash deposits and withdrawals made in foreign currencies allowed to companies.

In an effort to prevent the dollar trade in the black market, The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) introduced cap on foreign currency deposits for individuals as well as companies in February of 2015. The limits included a $10,000 daily deposit, and $50,000 a month. In an interesting and perhaps unexpected move, CBE is lifting the cap on companies making cash deposits as well as withdrawals in foreign currencies, according to Aswat Masriya.

Albawaba has added that the Egyptian Central Bank has cancelled the daily cap and increased the cap on staple import dollar deposits to about $250,000 a month. However, the restrictions still apply for individuals and companies that import products other than basic commodities, production machinery, manufacturing components, and pharmaceuticals, all of which will now be allowed to deposit at the new caps. The new caps will not be enjoyed by companies that import finished products without being registered with the Egyptian government. 

This spiral drop in half of Egypt’s foreign reserves began in the years following the January 2011 revolution toppling Hosni Mubarak, causing political turmoil and economic difficulties. The government’s cap lift on foreign currency stems from pressures it's facing regarding the depreciation of the pound and the country’s inability to support the pound's price, which is set by the CBE at 7.73 to the dollar, according to Aswat Masriya.

This comes at a time when Egypt is extending all kinds of efforts to collect money, such as signing loan agreements in December with the World Bank as well as the African Development Bank (ADB).