Egypt Limiting Bank Deposits, Withdrawals
Egypt’s Central Bank says it has instructed the country’s monetary institutions to temporarily limit customers’ deposits and withdrawals. The Reuters news agency quoted a financial analyst, who asked not to be identified, as saying: “I heard [it was] to control hoarding and inflation,” and a second as saying: “This could reduce hoarding and panic buying, and contain prices.” Experts are tying the move to the coronavirus pandemic. The Central Bank’s instructions cite daily sums of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (about $635) for individuals, and 50,000 Egyptian pounds for commercial entities – although that limitation will be waived if companies can show the withdrawal is for the payment of salaries. Withdrawals from automated teller machines are to be limited to 5,000 Egyptian pounds. The Central Bank has also recommended that customers begin using e-payments and electronic transfers, calling on banks to cancel fees for these services. As of Sunday, Egypt was reporting 609 cases of coronavirus and 40 deaths.