Central bank says Egyptians withdrew EGP 9 billion from ATMs during Eid

Egyptians have withdrawn around 9 billion Egyptian pounds  ($567.4 million) from ATMs nationwide during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, according to Central Bank of Egypt.

The source said that amount had been withdrawn between Friday and Monday.

They said the bank had underlined the necessity of supplying ATMs with cash to meet the needs of citizens, while committing to ongoing sterilisation of ATMs and bank branches.

The Eid holiday, typically a time of increased consumer spending, began on Sunday.

In addition, Egypt advanced the dates of public sector salary disbursements for May to take place from 18 May to 21 May via ATMS, instead of a previous date of 23 May.

The CBE has been making efforts to maintain liquidity and avoid scarcity in the market amid the coronavirus pandemic, setting daily cash limits for deposits and withdrawals amid the outbreak.

The central bank in March instructed banks to apply the limits on withdrawals and deposits as part of its preventive procedures against the outbreak and to avoid overcrowding, particularly during payroll and pension disbursement.

The decision came after a total of 3 billion pounds ($189.1 million) was withdrawn “unnecessarily” from branches and ATMs during March, causing significant overcrowding, according to CBE Governor Tarek Amer.

A daily limit for deposits and withdrawals is still in place; however, the central bank in April raised the limit for daily cash withdrawals from ATMs to EGP 20,000, up from EGP 5,000, and from banks to EGP 50,000, up from EGP 10,000.