After receiving in-principle clearance from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on September 27, 2021, British lender Standard Chartered is set to operate its first fully complete branch in Egypt later this year.
The move is part of the London-based bank’s African expansion plan.
Standard Chartered is now meeting Egypt’s banking regulator’s standards, which would allow it to obtain the final clearance needed to establish the branch, the company said on Thursday.
“The action is motivated by the Egyptian economy’s durability and strength,” the lender stated. “The banking sector has seen considerable stability in recent years, allowing it to manage diverse crises seamlessly.”
According to the Middle East News Agency, the first branch will open in Cairo in September, citing CBE vice governor Gamal Negm.
Standard Chartered now maintains a representative office in the largest economy in North Africa and the Arab world.
Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, Egypt’s economy increased faster than projected during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which concluded in June 2021.
According to the World Bank’s global economic forecast issued this month, this was due to strong consumption demand, stronger remittances, and reasonably limited inflation.
Growth is predicted to return to 5.5 percent in the fiscal year 2021-2022, according to the Washington-based global lender.
“CBE’s strategy established a successful framework focused on strengthening the sector’s financial solvency, ensuring effective governance, implementing precautionary measures that resulted in the continuation of financial support and high capital requirements that [are] exceeding the established minimum, as well as high liquidity ratios,” Standard Chartered said. “This had a good impact on the Egyptian economy as a whole.”
Along with Africa and Asia, the Middle East, where Standard Chartered now has a presence in nine countries, is an important element of the bank’s reach.
The lender’s Middle East and Africa first-half operational income increased by more than 400% in 2021, reaching a five-year high, despite a “substantial” decline in provisions for credit losses.