Egypt central bank expands financing for distressed tourism companies

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Egypt’s central bank is increasing its financing package to help distressed tourism companies and investors to 50 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.1 billion) from the current 5 billion pounds, it said on Sunday.

Political turmoil in the years after Egypt’s 2011 uprising devastated the Egyptian tourism sector, and many companies have racked up large debts to domestic banks.

The central bank aid will be extended to companies such as hotel operators and other investors in the sector, freeing them from paying compound interest if they entered the market before 2011, forgiving part of their debts and helping renovate hotels.

“A review was made of how to push the Egyptian tourism industry forward to take advantage of increasing growth in this sector, which is one of the largest sources of foreign currency,” the central bank said.

The statement was released after a meeting of tourism officials, investors and central bank officials in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

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