Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egypt's banks told to limit withdrawals and deposits

March 29, 2020 at 1:24 pm

An employee counts banknotes at currency exchange shop in Cairo [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Egyptian banks have been instructed to apply temporary limits on daily withdrawals and deposits in a move seemingly designed to control inflation and hoarding as concern grows over the spread of the coronavirus, reported Reuters.

The daily limit for individuals would be 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($635) and 50,000 pounds for companies, a central bank statement said, though businesses will be exempt from the withdrawal limits if the money is used to pay employees.

The central bank has also limited daily ATM withdrawals and deposits to 5,000 pounds, it said in a statement.

“Not official, but I heard (it was designed) to control hoarding and inflation,” said one analyst who asked not to be named.

“This could reduce hoarding and panic buying and contain prices,” a second analyst said.

Read: Egypt in search of 30 Egyptians arriving from Italy for fear of coronavirus contamination

The central bank has also urged people to limit their use of banknotes and to rely on electronic transfers and e-payments.

“All banks cancelled fees on transfers and e-payment methods for the citizens’ convenience,” the statement added.

Egypt reported 40 new coronavirus cases and six fatalities on Saturday, bringing the totals to 576 confirmed infections and 36 deaths.

Egypt ordered mosques to shut their doors to worshippers for two weeks from March 21.

The Ministry of Islamic Endowments said on Sunday that it would extend the closure indefinitely.