Private banks operating in the Egyptian market started to move toward raising interest rates on their pound saving schemes.
The step came after public banks raised their interest rates and an increase occurred in the return on debt instruments by which banks invest most of their liquidity in pounds.
The National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Banque du Caire decided last Sunday to raise their interest rates on deposits, savings accounts, and some saving certificates in pounds by 1-1.25%, in line with the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) decision to raise its basic interest rates by 1.5%.
The return on treasury bonds and bills increased last Sunday and Monday to their highest level since approximately three years ago, when the return on treasury bonds increased by 1.565-1.912%, while treasury bills’ return increased by 1.1-1.76%.
In a first response from the private banks to these moves, Blom Bank Egypt raised the return on its three-year saving certificate by about 2.25%, registering 12.5% annually.
The Arab Investment Bank also decided to raise the interest rate on deposits by 1% and the interest rate on savings accounts by 0.25%.
Audi Bank Egypt also raised the interest rate on deposits by 1% and the interest rate of a number of its savings certificates by 0.50%.
According to the head of treasury at one of the foreign banks operating in the Egyptian market, Tamer Youssef, all banks operating in the Egyptian market are expected to raise their interest rates on savings schemes in pounds.
He added that the timing of the move and the amount of the increase in interest rates depends on the circumstances and policies of each bank. However, it is an inevitable step to come, especially after a large increase occurred in returns on bills and bonds.