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Thursday, 8 August 2019

CBE issues regulations for foreign currency exports

REGULATION WATCH- CBE issues regulations for foreign currency exports: New banking regulations will require banks wanting to export and import foreign currency to apply for a 12-month license in January every year, according to a CBE statement (pdf) released yesterday. The CBE said banks have six months from the date it issued the regulations to work out their statuses.

How will the exports be done? Banks may sign contracts with international financial institutions (banks or exchange bureaus) to carry out export transactions for them — as long as they conduct due diligence and set an insurance limit (to be renewed annually). Banks would require approval from the CBE to carry out the transactions through an Egypt-based company.

What kind of international institutions qualify? Qualifying institutions must be under the supervision of a regulatory body and be authorized to import FX. They have to have been established for at least five years, and have never been fined or punished by their domestic regulator. They must also have internal procedures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

How big can the transactions be? The value of a single export transaction cannot exceed USD 100 mn (or the equivalent in other currencies), the CBE said. Banks would have to hire a specialized international company to determine the rate of foreign currency not listed in the CBE’s rate chart — as long as the transactions in this case are between USD 2 mn and USD 10 at a time and are approved by the CBE.

Before the transaction: Banks must demonstrate that they are sufficiently capitalized to continue normal operations while engaging in FX transactions. Banks must also show on Reuters monitors rates of FX they’re looking to export the day before they make their transaction request to the CBE. The central bank must give its approval at least one day before the transaction date.

After the transaction: Banks must provide the CBE with proof of the value and rate of their FX exports within a maximum of 10 days after the transaction.

The CBE may withdraw a bank’s licence whenever it wants and without providing any explanation.

CBE approval is also required for foreign currency imports, the bank said, without providing further details.

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