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Thursday, 15 June 2017

CBE lifts restrictions on USD bank transfers abroad

The central bank has officially scrapped all caps placed on bank transfers abroad. The central bank instructed that all restrictions on transfers to bank accounts abroad be removed starting from yesterday, but noted that banks must maintain their regular know-your-customer (KYC) protocols. Since January, the central bank had been imposing a cap of USD 100k per client on transfers after having loosened a restriction that only allowed one USD 100k transfer for each client regardless of the time period. The central bank says the move is to facilitate bank transactions and meet client demands. Governor Tarek Amer, who had promised last month the caps would be removed, said the move marks the end to the FX crisis in Egypt, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Banque Misr chairman Mohamed El Etreby told Youm7 that his bank had lifted restrictions yesterday. The story is gaining heavy traction in the foreign press, with the Financial Times, Bloomberg and Reuters taking note.

The decision will have an impact on global depository receipts trading: The EGX and the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority is looking into regulatory changes governing trading of GDRs in line with the lifting of transfer restrictions, EGX chairman Mohamed Omran tells MENA News Agency, according to AMAY. The new rules could do away with restrictions from 2012 and 2015, which include requirements that the proceeds from the sale of GDRs converted from EGX-listed shares be deposited in a CBE-approved bank and can only be withdrawn in the currency in which the original EGX shares were purchased.

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