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Egypt new ‘highest interest ever’ dollar savings certificate

Egypt’s two biggest state banks, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr have on July 26 issued two dollar-dominated three-year certificates of deposits, at very special rates between 7 – 9 percent.

Quick facts

These certificates are valid for three years and available to both Egyptian nationals or foreigners with a minimum deposit of $1000. This is the highest interest rate on a foreign currency savings certificate to be offered ever by the Egyptian banking system since the early 1990s.Regionally and globally, other banks are currently offering rates of around 5 percent on dollar savings certificates, e.g., Barclays and Marcus by Goldman Sach.

The 7-Percent Certificates

The annual 7 percent return on the ‘Al Ahly Plus in Dollars’ and ‘Elite’ Certificates is paid out on quarterly basis in US dollars, with the possibility of getting a loan of up to 50 percent of the value of the investment.According to NBE, the loan would be at an interest rate of 2.25 percent, which is less than the lending rate of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). The duration of these certificate is three years.

The 9-Percent Certificates

As for the 9 percent ‘Al Ahly Instant in Dollars’ and ‘Al Qimma’ Certificates, they pay their interest back in Egyptian pounds, while repaying the original investment in U.S. dollars. The interest payment in Egyptian pounds is made up front, and involves all three years’ interest at 27 percent.

For instance, if US$1000 (EGP 30,900) is invested in the Al Ahly Instant Certificate, the Egyptian pound equivalent of US$270 (EGP 8,341) would be paid out at once, and the US$1000 would be repaid at maturity, three years on.

The minimum deposit for certificates is US$1000 and deposits are determined by multiples of 1000.

Ways to Purchase Certificates

Al Ahly Plus and Al Ahly Instant and Certificates can be purchased through NBE’s branches or through Al-Ahly Net and Al-Ahly Mobile, as well as through the official website using credit cards that were not issued in Egypt.For NBE customers residing abroad and do not have accounts in foreign currency, they can transfer the amounts required to purchase the certificates, and the bank will open sub-accounts for them in foreign currency.For the Elite and Al Qimma Certificates, they can be purchased through BM’s website, the Internet, mobile banking BM Online, the bank’s branches inside and outside Egypt, and the ATM network