Tarek Amer, chairman of Federation of Egyptian Banks, said Banks in Egypt have substituted the government in supporting investment and business in the period in which all Egypt’s resources deteriorated as a result of the political and security turmoil followed last year’s popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
In his talk in the Arab banking Conference 2012 under the name of “Challenges of the Arab Economic Security” in Abu Dhabi, Amer added that Egyptian banking sector provided the required funds since 2001’s revolution till now which reached US$ 70 billion; of which US$ 50 billion for opening letters of credit and letters of guarantee to import goods, US$ 15 billion for foreign investors who wished to exit Egypt’s market and US$ 5 billion to repay Egypt’s external liabilities.
In the primary session which Amer headed “Implications and Risks resulting from a deteriorating Arab Economic security”, the chairman of FEB affirmed that 2011’s fourth quarter results prove the strength of Egypt’s economy as exports improved to register US$ 6.4 billion in July-September 2011, compared with US$ 6.1 billion in July-September 2010. The transfers of Egyptians abroad reached US$ 4 billion and Ame expected that will rise to US$ 8 billion. Direct foreign investment improved to register US$ 440 million since December 20th till the last month, the total volume of direct foreign investments in 2003.
The reduction in foreign capital flow in 2011 was a key reason in affecting Balance of payments in Egypt. In addition, the volume of imports rose from US$ 11 billion in 2010 to US$ 14 billion in 2010 and volume of tourism retreated by 20-25%. Amer expected that Egypt’s economy will recover with fast paces when security and political statuses are stabilized. Amer described Egyptian banking system’s results as good in accordance with international standards such as liquidity, capital and profits. Loans to deposits ratio is less than 45%, meaning that Egyptian banks had strong liquidity in the face of crises, Amer informed.
Amer added that the banking reform plan adopted by Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and banks from eight years represented a foundation stone that protected banks against crises. Banks also have become more dynamic and experienced in facing these challenges. Among the current challenges facing the government is the general budget’s deficit. Democratic systems attract investments, develop state’s resources, achieve high growth rates and implement social justice.
Amer called on Arab countries to support Egypt as these countries cannot be developed without Egypt, neither Egypt do.
The inaugural and primary session of the Conference is attended by Adnan Ahmed Youssef, chairman of Union of Arab Banks; , Joseph Tarabay, chairman of World Union of Arab Bankers; and Sultan bin Nasser al-Suwaidi, Governor of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates. While Abdel Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of Emirates Banks Association and CEO of Mashreq Bank, was not present.
Among the prominent Egyptian participants were, Tarek Amer, chairman of Federation of Egypt and National Bank of Egypt; Mohamed Barakat; Chairman of Banque Misr; Hany Seif El-Nasr, chairman of Arab Investment Bank and Ashraf El-Ghamrawy, CEO of Al Baraka Bank Egypt as well as chairmen and chiefs of Egyptian banks including Mokhtar El Shennawy, Managing Director of National Bank of Egypt in London and Ismail Saleh, general manager of the National Bank of Egypt London.