Frequent power cuts impacting bank transactions: experts
Cairo witnessing power outage - YOUM7 (Archive)
By AHMED ABU SHADY

CAIRO: With the frequent and sudden power cuts in Egypt in recent days, banking experts are now claiming that the cuts are negatively affecting banking transitions including deposits, withdrawals and repayment of loans, Al Mal reported on Tuesday.

“With the absence of radical solutions for frequent power cuts, the working banks in Egypt will not be able to achieve growth,” the business daily reported.

Banking expert Mohsen Al-Khodeiry, head of the research center of the National Bank of Egypt, told The Cairo Post that sudden power outages are pushing banks to carry out small transactions for lending and borrowing that do not require linkage to the principal bank.

Power outages cause the Internet services linking central banks to regional outlets to be cut, he said. Each principle bank is connected to its branches with a central unified system.

Egypt has been suffering from frequent and sudden power outage due to a lack of oil supply and heavy loads and overconsumption of electricity, The Cairo Post previously reported.

Hafez Salmawy, head of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, said the available capacity of the 52 electricity stations in Egypt amounts to 27,000 megawatts, while the total consumption of citizens totals 28,000 to 28,500 megawatts.

Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker announced in April that the electricity crisis may be solved by 2018, and the ministry’s initiative to ration electricity could help solve the problem, Al Mal reported.

Karim Diaa, deputy of the banking retail sector at the Egyptian Gulf Bank, told Al Mal the sudden power cuts reduce their clients’ abilities to repay and fund the installments of their loans. Banks that have large credit portfolios are greatly affected by the power outages, as the increase in non-payments is negatively affecting their credit portfolios, he told Al Mal.

Power outages are also pushing bank heads to extend work hours and pay overtime, he said.

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