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Cushioning the Pandemic Blow on Cairo Businesses

Egypt’s central bank will provide up to $6.36 billion in loan guarantees to banks to encourage lending to businesses during the coronavirus crisis, the state news agency quoted the bank’s governor as saying on Tuesday. Central bank governor, Tarek Amer, told the agency: The decision comes during “increased business risks in the market, especially with regards to companies and finance. The loans will carry an interest rate of 8%, well below the central bank’s key overnight lending rate of 10.25%. The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on Egypt’s economy, particularly with the virtual shutdown since March of the country’s tourism industry, which represents about 5% of gross domestic product, and the closure of restaurants and cafes.