From The Report: Egypt 2019
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Egypt has been a regional banking powerhouse for more than a century and is home to the biggest bank¬ing sector in North Africa. The industry is also one of the region’s most stable, surviving both the economic turbulence that followed the Arab Spring and a more recent foreign currency crisis that saw government auctions of US dollars and the growth of a parallel market for foreign currency. The resolution of the currency challenge through the flotation of the Egyptian pound in 2016 has helped strengthen bank profitability, and a positive economic outlook for 2019 underwrites the continuance of this trend. However, the sector also faces near-term challenges, including a looming deadline for a bold small and medium-sized enterprise lending target, the introduction of new accountancy standards and the probable implementation of a significantly revised banking law. This chapter contains interviews with Hisham Ezz Al Arab, Chairman, Federation of Egyptian Banks and Commercial International Bank; and Dante Campioni, CEO, AlexBank.