S&P boosts outlook for Egyptian banks

Standard & Poor’s said it had raised its outlook on three of the biggest Egyptian banks to positive from stable following the agency’s upgrade two weeks ago on the outlook for the country as a whole.

S&P at the same time affirmed its B-C long- and short-term ratings for the three banks – National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr and Commercial International Bank. The ratings might eventually be subject to an upgrade, the agency said.

“The positive outlooks indicate that we could upgrade NBE, BM and CIB if we upgraded Egypt,” S&P said. “We could revise the outlooks on the banks to stable if we revised the outlook on the sovereign credit ratings to stable.”

The upgrade comes amid improving fortunes for Egypt’s economy following several years of political upheaval that left the country’s economy in tatters.

Arabian Gulf countries and international corporations in March pledged about US$80 billion in aid and investment at an economic conference in Sharm El Sheikh to help the country get back on its feet following four years of political turmoil during which two presidents were ousted.

At the economic conference in March, the country’s president, Abdel Fattah El Sisi, said he expected Egypt’s economy to grow at a rate of 6 per cent annually over the next five years.


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Mahmoud Kassem

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