Egypt's tourism investors request special financial measures

Published November 12th, 2015 - 06:55 GMT

Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) governor Tarek Amer will meet with the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) and South Sinai Investors’ Association in Sharm El-Sheikh next Sunday.

An official at the Ministry of Tourism said Minister Hisham Zaazou will take part in the meeting along with the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF), led by its chairman Elhamy El-Zayat. The official said the meeting aims to review the demands of investors in the region and develop ideas to support the sector during the current period.

The official said there will be several files to be considered by Amer during the meeting, as well as other files that will be presented to Zaazou.

The files that will be presented to Amer will include asking him to reconsider the interest rate on loans, as well as postponing overdue loans by investors to banks.

Interest rates for loans obtained by investors range from 14% to 15.5%, which is too high in light of the circumstances of the sector, according to the official, who noted that investors are calling for reductions of the interest rate to 10.5% to 11%.

Investors will also ask Amer to extend the payment period for more than a year, instead of six months, which was set by the CBE’s former governor Hisham Ramez.

Investors will call on Zaazou to delay the payment of water and electricity dues for at least three months. “They will call to delay the implementation of the property tax as well as the sales tax under the current conditions,” the official said.

El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt the demands are not limited to investors of Sharm El-Sheikh alone, but include other touristic regions in Luxor and Aswan. He expects the meeting to be different than previous ones between bankers and tourism investors in light the decline witnessed by the sector following the 25 January Revolution in 2011.

The FEB held a meeting under the chairmanship of Tarek Amer when he was the head of the federation in 2011 in Sharm El-Sheikh with a number of investors in South Sinai.

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