Egyptians’ remittances retreat by $1 billion

KUWAIT: Egyptian Central Bank’s Governor Tareq Amer recently told Kuwaiti officials that remittances of Egyptians working in Kuwait retreated by $1 billion since the recent ‘Dollar Crisis’ started in Egypt, well-informed sources said.

Amer made a quick visit to Kuwait last week during which he met with officials from Kuwait Central Bank and Kuwait Investment Authority, the sources said. He explained to them that the main reason behind the retreat was that a large segment of those remittances were made outside the banking system, making use of the huge difference between official rates used in banks and lower ones offered by money exchangers and non-official remittances. “Unofficial remittances have negatively affected Egyptians’ remittances, which form a major source for hard currency in Egypt, because the difference between official rates and that paid by currency dealers varies between 15 and 20 percent,” Amer explained according to the sources.

Further, the sources added that Amer invited Kuwaitis to increase their deposits in Egypt, namely through the ‘Beladi Dollar Deposit’ that was launched by the Egyptian government on February 29 for Egyptians working overseas. “Both individuals and establishments can benefit from this deposit that pays back up to 5.5 percent interest and can be refunded in US dollar at any time guaranteed by the [Egyptian] Central Bank,” he explained.

According to official Egyptian pound rates over the past few days, 1,000 pounds would cost KD 34.5, while the rate in the unofficial market is KD 29. The KD 6 difference makes many Egyptians prefer to deal with unofficial exchangers compared to dealing with banks or local money exchange agencies. – Al-Rai

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