The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) aims to reduce the size of its debt to EGP 4.5bn by the end of June 2016, according to Deputy Chairperson Yehia Aboul Fotouh.
Aboul Fotouh told Daily News Egypt that the bank’s current debt portfolio holds EGP 5bn, the equivalent to 3% of the total loans portfolio.
The total size of NBE’s loans portfolio amounted to EGP 180bn at the end of December, versus EGP 156bn in June 2015.
Aboul Fotouh said that settlement of non-performing debts are ongoing, as long as they fit the bank’s criteria.
He added that NBE also floats some of its weaker customers to increase their business standing. The bank recently injected EGP 100m to float five customers.
As part of the bank’s plan to support its resources, Aboul Fotouh said NBE has negotiated with foreign institutions to obtain foreign currency and help the market overcome the dollar shortage. He, however, declined to name any of these institutions.
The NBE received $700m from the China Development Bank in January 2016. These funds were angled to finance infrastructure projects across Egypt, especially electricity, energy, telecommunications, transport, and agriculture, along with co-projects with China.
Aboul Fotouh noted that the bank will follow all paths to obtain hard currency, whether through borrowing from international bodies, or the savings vessels the bank has recently put forward to attract foreign currency from inside and outside Egypt.
With regards to the fate of bonds, the bank announced it began offering bonds to foreign markets and that the bank is waiting for the situation of foreign markets to improve before launching these bonds.
He also pointed out that the bank is still considering introducing new saving certificates in US dollars.