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Egypt's Central Bank Cuts Interest Rates by 1%

Egypt's Central Bank Cuts Interest Rates by 1%

Saturday, 16 February, 2019 - 08:15
Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Egyptian Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said it has cut its main interest rates by a percentage point each, the first such move since March 2018.

“As incoming data continued to confirm the moderation of underlying inflationary pressures, the MPC decided to cut key policy rates by 100 basis points,” the bank said.

Since it allowed the pound to float freely in foreign exchange markets in November 2016, the bank has raised overnight rates by 700 basis points to combat soaring inflation.

Earlier, Fitch Solutions foundation expected that the Egyptian Central Bank will cut the interest rate as price pressures cool.

In other economic news, the Egyptian Finance Ministry said it has drafted a unified tax bill and will propose it to the government for discussion ahead of referring it to parliament for approval.

The ministry said that the law would unify the procedures for tax collection, including income and value added tax, to limit red tape.

The bill has many clauses that clarify the rights of taxpayers and prevent a complicated payment system, it added.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has given instructions to publish the draft-law on the website of the ministry and the Egyptian Tax Authority so that it could be subject to public scrutiny by civil society, commerce chambers, syndicates, businessmen and investors.

The bill is part of a general plan to improve Egypt’s taxation system that would lead to more efficiency, the ministry’s statement said.

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