The size of the Egyptian banking sector was EGP 2tn by the end of 2015, according to Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Fayed.
The statement was part of Fayed’s speech on behalf of CBE Chairman Tarek Amer in the opening session of the forum held in Sharm El-Sheikh by United Arab Banks (UAB) on Thursday about the role of financing and investment in reinforcing financial inclusion, stability, and fighting terrorism in Arab counties. Banks working in the Egyptian market have achieved strong growth rates with an average of 35% over the past three years.
CBE is keen on allowing banks to play a major role in serving economy and it launched several initiatives over the past months, most prominently the initiatives of real estate and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), financing, and an initiative to support the tourism sector. Fayed said that CBE seeks to support SMEs and that there are serious consultations with the government to provide all incentives necessary for the growth of this sector during the upcoming years.
He also said that CBE seeks to offer support to banks to build their infrastructure as well as increase the financing of these projects. CBE played a great role in achieving financial inclusion through the issuance of Suez Canal certificates that have attracted a new segment of clients into the banking sector. It also launched a real estate financing initiative and allowed banks to open small branches. It helped banks launch internet-banking and mobile payment services to accommodate a larger number of clients.
CBE also plays an important role in supporting production through an initiative to revitalise financing provided to the sector of SME, unifying a definition for them, adding SME to the segment financed by banks, and obliging banks to increase the size of loans provided to SME to 20% of total loan portfolio. Facilitated financing will be provided to these sectors with the value of EGP 200bn within four years in accordance with the state’s plans.
There are plans to strengthen the role of credit risk guarantee companies and provide necessary training for their owners and those in charge of providing financing in banks through banking institutions.