National Bank of Egypt relaxes limits on card usage abroad: paper

Egypt’s largest bank, the state-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE) relaxed on Saturday its bank card purchase limits abroad to a maximum of 100,000 Egyptian pounds per month for the highest credit category, up from 65,000 pounds, Ahram Daily reported.

“The move comes in the wake of the daring decisions by the Central Bank to float the local currency,” NBE senior official Hazem Hegazy told Ahram Daily.

A hard currency crunch and an earlier decline in foreign currency reserves have led the majority of Egyptian banks to tighten their limits abroad.

However, following the flotation of the pound in early November, a number of have banks relaxed their limits.

Hegazy added that the flotation of the pound has “increased confidence in the banking sector and increased [dollar reserves], as customers sold them for Egyptian pounds.”

NBE also increased the classic card’s purchase limit to 20,000 pounds and the Gold card’s purchase limit to 50,000 pounds.

Similarly, the country’s largest private lender, the Commercial International Bank, (CIB) increased its limits last week, with maximum withdrawal for platinum cards increasing to 150,000 pounds per month.