|25 March, 2020

Egypt's CBE offers 2-year hotel loans with 6-month grace 

The CBE launched an initiative to support the local tourism sector in the country, allocating $3.17bln for financing tourist companies

Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on Tuesday offering two-year loans for hotels and touristic establishments with a six-month grace to pay salaries of workers and to fulfil other obligations, such as maintenance work.

On 8 January, the CBE launched an initiative to support the local tourism sector in the country, allocating EGP 50bn for financing tourist companies and facilities with aim of replacing and renovating hotels at a decreasing interest rate of 8%.

The CBE added another item to the initiative that makes banks grant credit facilities with a maximum two-year repayment period and six-month grace starting the date of granting during which banks can capitalise unpaid interests.

Hotels and tourism projects will benefit from this initiative, except those for sale, travel agencies, tour operators, land and air touristic transportation, restaurants, and recreational activities in touristic areas.

Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani met with Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawi on Tuesday to discuss the implementation of the recent decision made by the ministerial committee for tourism and antiquities affairs, headed by the Prime Minister, regarding halting administrative distraint of defaulters’ properties in the tourism sector for one year.

The meeting also discuss strengthening cooperation between the two ministries in regard with the current crisis of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The aforementioned decision comes as part of the state`s efforts to cushion the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.

Moreover, Al-Anani met with Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty to discuss procedures for licensing tourist ships to facilitate the movement of tourists. They agreed on postponing the licensing fees payment indefinitely in light of the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

Secretary General of the Investors Association in Red Sea and member of the Egyptian Hotel Association (EHA) Tamer Nabil praised the efforts taken by the state to contain the negative impacts of the COVID-19 spread on the tourism sector.

He mentioned that the government is taking emergency measure to support the tourism sector in this crisis, holding a lot of meetings to discuss best solutions.

“We are waiting for more measures from the ministerial committee for tourism affairs that will meet on Wednesday,” he added.

He mentioned that all concerned bodies in the tourism sector cooperated to make a list of demands that was submitted to the committee and will be discussed in the Wednesday meeting.

Among these demands, Nabil mentioned, is that the state bears part of the tourism workers’ salaries through allocating part of the emergency fund for them, in addition to cutting electrify prices for tourism facilities, as was the case for industrial facilities. 

Chairperson of EHA in Red Sea Alaa Akel told Daily News Egypt that other demands include postponing taxes and insurance without additional charges for delay.

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