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Head of International Desk Middle East, Turkey

Support by the
Crédit Agricole group

Last updated: August 2023

Crédit Agricole Group's International Desk in the Middle East mainly provides support to corporate clients in Egypt for the execution of their transactions on site, including opening an account, financing, market guarantee issues, information, banking advice and identity information (mainly for listed companies). 

International Desk relies on Crédit Agricole Egypt, which offers the range of services of a universal bank. Created in 2006 by successive mergers, Crédit Agricole Egypt is today the only French bank present in Egypt.

Link to the Credit Agricole Egypt website

Positioning and organisation on the corporate market:  Crédit Agricole Egypt (CAE) is a universal bank serving corporate, SMEs and multinational clients, in collaboration with the business lines and specialised activities of the Crédit Agricole Group.

Crédit Agricole Egypt in figures:

  • 356,000 customers
  • 78 agencies
  • 2,300 employees

Data 2022 - Source: Crédit Agricole Group Registration Document


Means of payment

With Egypt

Company cheque

Bank cheque

SWIFT transfer

Documentary remittance

Documentary credit


Weak / None

Weak / None






Advice from the
international desk

General Information

Egypt is a major member of the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) with an economy that is open to foreign investors.

In most areas of investment, there is no legal difference between foreign and domestic investors and there are no restrictions on full foreign ownership of Egyptian companies.

With the new investment law of 2017, Egypt is demonstrating its willingness to create more favourable conditions for local and foreign investments, in particular by putting in place guarantees and incentives.

There are no restrictions on the convertibility of Egyptian currency into another free currency, provided this is done through authorised legal entities, including banks.

The outward transfer of foreign currency is also authorised on presentation of the required documents and through authorised legal entities. In addition, the Central Bank of Egypt has instructed authorised banks to facilitate the repatriation of dividends belonging to foreign shareholders.

To get started in Egypt, having an Egyptian partner - whether an agent, distributor or industrial partner in a JV - can be very useful, because of its knowledge of the market and its help in dealing with the local authorities.

To get started in Egypt, having an Egyptian partner - whether an agent, distributor or industrial partner in a JV - can be very useful, because of its knowledge of the market and its help in dealing with the local authorities.

It is also advisable to work with a local firm to set up a company (advice, administrative procedures, tax, etc.). The most common types of company are Limited Liability Company (SARL), Joint Stock Company (SA), General Partnership (Société en Nom Collectif) and Limited Partnership (Société en Commandite). In principle, it is permitted to acquire a majority stake in the capital of a local company (except in certain business sectors).

It should be noted that the Real Estate Law No. 15 of 1963 explicitly prohibits the ownership of agricultural land by foreign individuals or companies. The definition of "agricultural land" covers land in the Nile valley, the delta and the oases. In view of the climate emergency and tensions over the supply of raw materials, Egypt has opened up the acquisition of some land to foreign investors, particularly Saudi Arabians.

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, Egypt experienced a sharp disinvestment in the country in the summer of 2022, to the tune of 22 billion. However, Egypt was able to count on financial support from the IMF and the members of the GCC, notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. 


Means of Payment & Banking Specificities

The country has adopted a series of reforms since 2016, including a floating exchange rate regime. The Egyptian pound has depreciated sharply since the end of 2022 and should stabilise by the end of 2023. Liquidity has since deteriorated, and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is struggling to rebuild its USD reserves. Since then, the Covid-19 crisis and its economic slowdown have led Egypt to call on the IMF and the GCC to help the country through this crisis. There is no doubt that international donors will support Egypt financially, given the far-reaching structural reforms already undertaken.

The usual means of international payment are available. However, when it comes to imports, specific procedures must be taken into account, which may involve documentary constraints (legalisation, rules of origin, supporting documents, etc.) and regulations that may restrict the import of certain products. New import regulations were introduced in February 2022. These have since been relaxed, but difficulties in accessing foreign currency liquidity remain high.

Source: MOCI – Coface – Business France – CAE – CASA – FMI – CBE


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