Egypt Extends Rate Pause With Eye on Global Economic Risks

Egypt held interest rates, putting monetary easing on pause for another month as the coronavirus keeps global markets on edge, Bloomberg News reported. The deposit rate will remain at 8.25% and the lending rate at 9.25%, the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee said Thursday in a statement. Ten of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted the decision. The second wave of the pandemic and containment steps “continue to weigh on the near-term outlook,” the MPC said. “The path to global economic recovery remains a function of the efficacy, availability and the roll-out speed of vaccines which could ease the level of uncertainty regarding economic activity over the medium term.” After cutting a combined 850 basis points in 2019 and 2020, authorities are treading a cautious path amid mixed signs of when the pandemic will ease. Adjusted for prices, Egypt’s policy rate is the highest after Vietnam and Malaysia among more than 50 major economies tracked by Bloomberg, an important factor in attracting foreign investment in the country’s debt. Read more.