Before a number of bank officials, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer stated that he alone bears responsibility for the decision made on 14 March to reduce the value of the pound against the dollar by 112 piasters.
On Monday, deputy governor of CBE Gamal Negm invited officials of the compliance and banking operations department to a meeting at the CBE, in the presence of deputy governor Lobna Helal, sub-governors Tarek El-Kholy and Tarek Fayed, and assistant sub-governor May Abuelnaga.
All attendees of the meeting were surprised by the presence of Amer due to his preoccupation with follow-ups on the exchange market following his decision to reduce the value of the pound, according to a banking source who attended the meeting.
The source told Daily News Egypt that bank officials noticed Amer’s keenness to attend the meeting in order for him to explain the reasons behind his recent decision, as well as to examine their views and opinions about the issue.
Amer assured the attendees that he is willing to bear the consequences of this decision, whatever the outcome, stressing that he reported this to the political leadership, according to the source.
“Amer stressed that he would use CBE’s role in managing monetary policy and the exchange market in a way that takes the country’s best interests into consideration,” the source said, adding that Amer asserted that he will not stand by idly watching what happens in the market without doing what he considers necessary, no matter the consequences.
The governor has completely rejected the idea of the bank functioning as a depository to hold foreign currencies, according to the source.
The source recounted Amer’s comments in the meeting, stating that the CBE governor claimed a large role for the Egyptian central bank.
Amer called on banks to take serious steps towards attracting foreign currencies from abroad through their relations with correspondent banks in various states.
He added that he has intentions to issue several other decisions throughout the upcoming period in order to better regulate the market.
Several decisions made by the government in conjunction with the CBE to organise import operations will begin to take effect by the end of March.
The source stated that the CBE expects imports to decline by one third of their current volume after the implementation of its decisions, which will greatly contribute reduced demand on the dollar.
Banks must direct their dollar resources to cover the import fees of basic goods, as well as reassuring customers about the availability of foreign exchange currencies, Amer is reported as saying.
Daily News Egypt learned that the CBE governor invited bank governors to attend a meeting with him on Sunday, to discuss the recent decisions he took and their impact on the market.