Egypt’s central bank keeps key interest rates steady

Egypt’s central bank has on Thursday kept its main interest rates steady, saying the previous rate cut two week ago was sufficient to support businesses and households.

The central bank cut Two weeks earlier, the rates by three percentage points during a surprise meeting as a “preemptive” step to support the economy in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

This time, the Egyptian central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said in a statement on Thursday it had kept the overnight lending rate with no change at 10.25 percent and the overnight deposit rate at 9.25 percent.

MPC said the earlier pre-emptive rate cut was sufficient to support businesses and households.

It will continue to pursue its inflation target range of three percentage points above or below 9 percent within the fourth quarter of 2020.

“The COVID-19 outbreak as well as the associated containment measures induce a considerable disruption to economic activity and financial markets globally,” the MPC added in its statement accompanying the decision.

Inflation fell to 5.3 percent in March from 7.2 percent in February.