CAIRO: The General Union for Egyptians Abroad (GUEA) is currently negotiating with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to transfer about $135 billion in savings abroad as a move to boost Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves, GUEA deputy chief Mohamed al-Rayyan told Al Ahram.
Rayyan said the GUEA is asking the CBE also to inaugurate new commercial offices in areas highly-populated by Egyptians abroad to facilitate the transferring of funds to national banks to boost Egypt’s foreign reserves, Al Ahram reported.
Ahmed Roshdy, former head of the National Bank of Egypt, told The Cairo Post that remittances from Egyptians abroad “are considered one of the most important sources for hard currency, besides tourism, the Suez Canal and exports.”
The CBE may define the maximum rate for transferring money abroad as a step to keep foreign reserves and prevent losing banking assets, he said.
Large sums of foreign money could be used toward investments, creating more job opportunities, or even repaying Egypt’s foreign debts, Roshdy said, aiding the economy after the presidential elections this month.
Egypt’s foreign reserves have suffered large declines over the past three years since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak and the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. After the ousting of Mubarak, Egypt’s foreign reserves depleted from $37 billion in 2011 to about $13 billion in April 2013.
Until now, remittances from Egyptians abroad were valued at $22 billion, Rayyan said, and will reach $28 billion by the end of current year.
The CBE defined, after the January 25 Revolution, $100,000 as the maximum rate for transferring foreign exchange reserves to control the black market, Al Masry Al Youm reported.