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Wednesday, 25 January 2023

It’s sayonara to high-yield CDs at the end of the month

Banque Misr and the National Bank of Egypt are pulling their one-year, 25% certificates of deposit after the end of January, according to emailed statements from the two banks. The high-yield savings products were introduced to the market on 4 January ahead of the EGP devaluation to help curb inflation and dollarization. They offer savers a one-time 25% payout on maturity, or monthly interest payouts at a reduced 22.5% annualized rate.

More banks have issued CDs: Private lenders CIB and QNB Al Ahli each launched one-year CDs offering buyers a one-time payment of 22.5% on the maturing of their CD, or a monthly interest payout at a reduced annualized rate of 20%. While CIB’s minimum buy-in is EGP 100k, QNB offers a EGP 1k minimum. Most recently, state-owned Banque du Caire introduced its own one-year 25% CD akin to those at NBE and Banque Misr.

Expect all of the banks to pull their CDs from the market at the same time. If NBE and BM are no longer selling them, then there’s no impetus for other banks to continue doing — they introduced their CDs as defensive measures to protect deposits.

We knew this was coming: Banque Misr Chairman Mohamed El Etreby last week said the CDs at NBE and BM could be withdrawn in days — and by the end of the month at the latest.

Savers have piled in: Savers have put EGP 260 bn into NBE’s CDs, the bank said in the statement. Banque Misr didn’t disclose a figure, though it had collected EGP 120 bn as of a week ago.

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