Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2020-09-15

Methods of Payment

U.S. exporters typically request Letters of Credit (LOCs) from Egyptian buyers, arranged by the buyer through Egyptian banks and confirmed irrevocably by an American bank, though recent reports indicate that U.S. firms prefer payment in advance over LOCs.  Wire transferring through SWIFT is another option. Tighter credit terms offered by the EU, Japan and China have required importers to seek full LOCs or cash-in-advance payments for imports. According to new regulations, the U.S. exporter must submit the invoice as well as export documentation to his/her bank and the U.S. bank should inform its Egyptian correspondent bank about a request to open an LOC. Import transaction are based on document collections between banks. Documents incoming directly to clients, will not be accepted.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at https://www.trade.gov/trade-finance-guide-quick-reference-us-exporters

Banking Systems

According to the Central Band of Egypt (CBE), the Egyptian banking system consists of 40 banks categorized as commercial, non-commercial public and private sector. ATM services are offered at all bank branches as well as many point-of-sale locations. In practice, the vast majority of these banks operate as commercial banks, although there are a few specialized banks (i.e. agriculture and real estate). The National Bank of Egypt, Bank Misr, and Banque Du Caire are large public-sector banks which control 40 percent of the banking sector. All banks in Egypt are subject to supervision by the CBE; however, the Arab International Bank, Nasr Social Bank and the National Investment Bank are exempted due to special provisions in law and treaty.

Citibank, formerly the only full-service American bank operating in the Egyptian market, sold its consumer and retail operations to CIB bank, though it maintains its commercial and investment banking operations in Egypt.

Foreign Exchange Controls

span style=”font-size:12.0pt”>Foreign exchange regulations fall under Law No 88/2003. According to this law, individuals and businesses can hold foreign currency in Egypt and can have local bank accounts denominated in foreign currency. Individuals can buy foreign currency and transfer it abroad. Any individual or business can engage in a foreign currency transaction but must use banks or foreign-exchange bureaus that are licensed to trade in foreign currencies. The banks and foreign exchange bureaus all submit statements of all their transactions to the CBE, which ultimately controls all foreign exchange transactions. Banks have been giving priority to imports of “essential” goods. Commercial transactions must be supported with specific documents to justify the transfer.

US Banks & Local Correspondent Banks

Citibank

4 Ahmed Pasha St., Garden City, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-2791-0673, +2-02-27913-524     Fax: +2-02-2795-8056

Bank of Alexandria

49 Kasr El Nil St., Downtown, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-2391-3822, +2-02-2399-2000, +2-02-2393-4999 Fax: +2-02-2390-7793

Bank of New York Mellon

9 Abdel Moneim Riad St., Mohandeseen, Giza

Tel: +2-02-3336-5818, +2-02-3336-5822, +2-02-3336-5823   Fax: +2-02-3336-5816

Bank Misr

151 Mohamed Farid St., Downtown, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-2391-4239/0656   Fax: +2-02-2393-5381

National Bank of Egypt

1187 Corniche Al Nil, Boulak, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-2594-5000, +2-02-2594-5668, +2-02-2594-5600 Fax: +2-02-2574-7614

Arab National Bank

35 Abdel Khalek Tharwat St., Downtown, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-2397-0202, +2-02-2392-6749, +2-02-2391-6120/7133/2140

Fax: +2-02-2391-5922, +2-02-2395-5102

Attijariwafa Bank Egypt

12 Al Sheikh Youssef Sq., Garden City, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-16222, +2-02-2366-2620/2700/2600   Fax: +2-02-2366-2814/2810/2811
Commercial International Bank CIB

Nile Tower Bldg., 4th Fl., 21/23 Charles DeGaulle St., Giza

Tel: +2-02-3747-2000, +2-02-3570-2690, +2-02-3570-3043 Fax: +2-02-3568-3844

HSBC

306 Corniche El Nil St. Maadi, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-2529-8000, +2-02-2529-8751, +2-02-3535-9100   Fax: +2-02-2525-8080

Ahli United Bank

1191 Corniche El Nil, Floor 9, Cairo

Tel: +2-02-2614-9500/9600/9700, +2-02-2580-1200/1201/1205

Fax: +2-02-2613-5160, Fax: +2-02-2619-0574