Egypt Watch

Hassan Abdullah: New CBE governor was accused of corruption

On Thursday, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi issued a decree designating Hassan Abdullah, the head of United Media Services, a company affiliated with the General Intelligence Directorate, as the acting governor of the Central Bank. Abdullah is a former member of the dissolved National Party. He also held the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab African International Bank before he was dismissed by the former Central Bank Governor, Tarek Amer, in 2018, on accusations of corruption.

Egyptian television had announced that el-Sisi accepted the resignation of Amer. Amer said he asked to step away from his position to allow others to “complete the successful development process” under the president’s leadership. Amer had been the governor of the Central Bank since November 2015.

This comes a day before a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, which is expected to announce an increase in the overnight deposit rate by 50 basis points to control inflation. “The continued depreciation of the Egyptian pound and the expectation of higher fuel prices are likely to increase inflation,” said John Swanston, an economist for the Middle East and North Africa region at Capital Economics. He added that this would prompt policymakers to raise the interest rate by 50 basis points. The bank had raised the interest rate twice this year, the first in March by 1% and the second in May by 2%.