The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) began on Monday printing EGP 500m worth of new EGP 1 banknotes to face the shortage of small change in the Egyptian market for the past few months.
The new EGP 1 banknotes will be signed by Governor of the CBE Tarek Amer for the first time since he took office in November 2015.
The CBE’s Printing House assumes the responsibility of printing the different Egyptian banknotes.
The market has been suffering from a severe shortage of small change for several months. This crisis increased dramatically during the last month.
“I used to get my needs for small change from the CBE’s headquarters in Mohamed Farid street but this has become very difficult during the past two months,” an owner of famous clothing store in downtown Cairo told Daily News Egypt.
He added that he is always in need of EGP 5 and EGP 10 banknotes for his business, but he could not obtain them.
Amer revealed in previous statements that the CBE is studying the possibility of reprinting EGP 0.5 banknotes in the coming period, after printing EGP 500m worth of EGP 1 banknotes.
The paper banknotes of EGP1, EGP 0.5, and EGP 0.25 were removed from the market several years ago and were replaced with coins.
The old EGP 1 banknotes, which were printed earlier and signed by the former governors of CBE, have already been put back into use in the market for almost a month now.
According to Amer, the CBE never stopped trading in EGP 1 notes, but did stop printing them in recent years.
The cost of printing paper banknotes is half of cost of minting coins; however, the lifespan of coins is longer than paper banknotes.