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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Investor Associations claim to have reached agreement to settle pre-float debts

Investor Associations claim to have reached agreement to settle pre-float LCs: The Union of Egyptian Investor Associations (UEIA) is now claiming that it had reached an agreement with the CBE on settling LCs opened from before the EGP float. Members tell Al Borsa that companies with outstanding pre-float LCs worth USD 5 mn or less will repay banks at interest rate of 12% that increases annually over a period of 2-7 years. Banks will be obliged to negotiate interest rate increases and set the repayment period on a case-by-case basis, they said. In a meeting with the UIA on Monday, Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer reportedly also agreed to allow companies to translate their USD debts to EGP at the prevailing exchange rate on the day they ink their settlements. Amer has reportedly instructed banks to begin drafting the agreements within those parameters today and to refrain from taking legal action, in addition to doubling the limits on future LCs. Amer and the UEIA will continue to meet to find a solution for companies with debts north of USD 5 mn, members said.

Take it with a grain of salt: Talks are clearly underway, but as we noted last time this made the news, the story is part of a lobbying effort by the industry association. With no “unnamed CBE official” quoted and no generic “senior banker” saying the CBE is leaning on the industry, our take is that this issue is still far from settled.

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