- Howard Handy
- Published Date:
- May 1998
Appendix I provides a summary of the tax system as of July 1, 1997. The tables start with a description of taxes levied by the central government followed by taxes levied by local governments.
Each tax is described in terms of the relevant legislative act, the definition of the tax base, the main exemptions and deductions that are applicable and the tax rates.
|Tax||Base||Exemptions and Deductions||Rates|
Ad valorem equivalent of specific rates.
Ad valorem equivalent of specific rates.
This appendix provides a brief summary of the prudential regulations of the Central Bank of Egypt in respect of commercial banking procedures.
Foreign currency exposure. In April 1991.the central bank required that all banks limit foreign currency liabilities as a ratio to foreign assets (and the inverse) to J 05 percent, while the net foreign currency position was limited to 15 percent of each bank’s capital. From January 1994, foreign currency exposure was limited to 10 percent of capital (in single currency terms) and 20 percent of capital (in gross aggregate terms).
Capital adequacy ratio. In January 1991, the central bank established a capital adequacy ratio equivalent to 8 percent of risk-weighted assets, in accordance with the guidelines developed by the Basle Committee. In 1992. minimum capital requirements for Egyptian banks were increased to LE 100 million for authorized capital and LE 50 million for paid-up capital; branches of foreign banks were required to show a minimum capital base of not less than $15 million.
Asset classification and provisioning. In May 1991. strengthened guidelines were issued governing loan classification and provisioning.58
Reserve requirements. In December 1990, the reserve requirement ratio on Egyptian pound deposits was extended to all deposits (rather than deposits exceeding two years’ maturity). At the same time, the minimum reserve was reduced to 15 percent for domestic currency liabilities and 10 percent for foreign currency liabilities.
Credit concentration. From May 1993, commercial banks’ credit to single customers (in the form of share holdings or direct lending) has been limited to 30 percent of capital (on the Basle definition). At the same time, the Banking Law requires that credit to a single customer should not exceed 25 percent of a bank’s paid-up capital and reserves. In September 1995, these regulations were extended to business
and investment banks. A schedule for ensuring compliance with this limit by the end of December 1996 was in place by the end of December 1993. Banks are also required to limit share ownership in all companies to not more than issued capital and reserves.
Liquidity ratio. In January 1991, the scope of the minimum liquidity ratio was widened, while the ratio was reduced from 30 percent to 20 percent. A new liquidity ratio of 25 percent was also initiated for foreign currency liabilities. The liquidity ratios were also extended to business and investment banks.
Investment concentration abroad. From November 1992, all banks (other than branches of foreign banks) were required to limit investments with single foreign correspondents to not more than 10 percent of total investments abroad (or $3 million, whichever is higher). Moreover, total investments with foreign correspondents should not exceed 40 percent of capital (according to the Basle definition).
Reporting and auditing arrangements. In 1991. the central bank introduced special audits for the four public banks. In 1997, banks were required to prepare and publish their financial statements according to international accounting standards.
Intervention procedures. Under legislation approved in 1992, the central bank can require a bank facing financial difficulty to raise additional capital. It may also request banks not to distribute profits until the level of provisions becomes adequate. If a bank fails to meet the necessary capital requirements, the central bank may order that the bank be liquidated or merged with another bank.
Deposit insurance. Egypt does not have a formal system of deposit insurance. In the past, the difficulties of individual banks have been met in an ad hoe manner by the central bank or government. For example, in 1991, a joint venture between Bank for Credit and Commerce International (BCCl) and a local partner experienced difficulties that prompted the central bank to request other banks to lend support in the form of an interest-free loan equivalent to 0.25 percent of their deposits. Subsequently, the joint venture merged with a public sector bank following the collapse of BCCI, supported by a loan from the central bank.
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MongelliFrancesco P.1996 “Investment and Growth in the Middle East and North Africa,” IMF Working Paper 96/124Washington: International Monetary Fund
BisatAmerMohamed A.El-Erian andThomasHel-bling1997 “Growth. Investment and Saving in the Arab Economies” IMF Working Paper 97/85Washington: International Monetary Fund
BrunoMichael andWilliamEasterly1995Inflation, Crisis and Long-Run Growth,National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series No. 5209(August)
CalvoGuillermoLeonardoLciderman andCarmen M.Reinhart1993 “Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors” Staff Papers International Monetary Fund Vol. 40March1993 pp. 108–51
CardiffPatrick W.forthcoming “Poverty and Inequality in Egypt” Research in Middle East Economies Vol. 2Cairo: Middle East Economic Association
ClarkPeter1994Exchange Rales and Economic Fundamentals: A Framework for Analysis,IMF Occasional Paper No. 115Washington: International Monetary Fund
EdwardsSebastian1989Real Exchange Rales, Devaluation and Adjustment: Exchange Rale Policy in Developing CountriesCambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press
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ElbadawiIbrahim A.1994 “Estimating Long-Run Equilibrium Real Exchange Rates” Ch. 5 in Estimating Equilibrium Exchange Ratesed.JohnWilliamsonWashington: Institute for International Economics,1994
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FrankelJeffrey1993On Exchange RatesCambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press
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GalalA1996 “Savings and Privatization” Egyptian Centre For Economic Studies (ECES) Working Paper No.8Cairo, Egypt: ECES
GoldinIan andEmmanuelvan der Mensbrugghe1995 “The Uruguay Round: An Assessment of Economy-Wide and Agricultural Reforms” paper presented at a World Bank conference on the Uruguay Round and Developing CountriesJanuary1995
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HansenBent andKarimNashashibi1975Egypt a special conference series on Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development Vol. 4New York: National Bureau of Economic Research
HavrylyshynOleh1997A Global Integration Strategy for Mediterranean Countries: Open Trade and Market ReformsWashington: International Monetary Fund
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QuirkPeter andOwenEvans1995Capital Account Convertibility: Review of Experience and Implications for IMF Policies IMF Occasional Paper No. 131Washington: International Monetary Fund
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See Subramanian (1997), for a detailed discussion of the Egyptian stabilization experience.
The size of the primary surplus was sufficient to reduce the debt stock in the absence of debt reduction.
Details of methods used in constructing the database can be found in Bisat, El-Erian, and El-Gamal (forthcoming). Hansen and Nashashibi (1975) offer an exhaustive analysis of Egypt’ early economic performance.
The investment variable refers lo fixed capital formation (i.e.. excluding changes in stocks).
About half of public investment is spent on infrastructure; around 15 percent on education and health and the remainder on housing and general public services. There is a break in public sector investment data after 1993 owing to the reclassification of public enterprise investment from public to private sector accounts. In the post-1993 years, official public sector investment includes only the general government and investment by public authorities. Those averaged about 5 percent a year. Estimates of public enterprise investment amount to about 5 percent of GDP.
Net factor income from abroad is defined as the sum of workers’ remittances and net interest income.
Public domeslic saving is defined as fiscal revenues minus current expenditures minus the government’s net interest from abroad.
Appendix I presents a summary of the tax system.
Also, no credit is allowed for the taxed inputs in the production of taxed services creating tax cascading. Credit for GST paid earlier in the production process is also not allowed for capital goods leading to discrimination against domestic capital goods industries, cascading, and a tax on exports.
Excluding foreign-financed defense expenditure.
Central Bank of Egypt income taxes and transfers are inherently difficult to project and are assumed to be constant in relation to GDP.
Also, in October 1997. the Egyptian authorities adopted a simplified system of calculating depreciation of capital assets.
Suez Canal Authority revenues fell from $1,959 billion in 1995 to $1,881 billion in 1996. The number of oil tankers was down by 8 percent, the total number of ships down by 3 percent, and tonnage down by 2 percent. The average transit dues per ship fell from $129,735 in 1995 to $127,690 in 1996. The most important revenue sources were (1) container ships; (2) bulk carriers; and (3) oil tankers, respectively. Transit dues relate to tonnage, type of vessel, transit time, and point of origin.
The 200-mile SUMED pipeline has a capacity of about 2.5 million barrels a day and is a joint venture between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. An extension that would traverse the Red Sea from Ain Sukhna to the closest point on the Saudi coast near Sharm al Sheikh is under consideration.
Royalties and development duties from the EGPC and SCA are also in this category, but they too are likely to be less than fully buoyant. Stamp taxes are levied on goods and services, including contracts, payments from government agencies, bank loans, documents, receipts, checks, certificates, bank accounts, salaries, and advertisements at rates between 0.8 percent and 20 percent.
As expressed in Lhe Fisher identity MV = PQ, where M = money supply, V = velocity of money, P = price level, and Q = volume of transactions (real GDP).
The Fisher identity is set in terms of levels, that is, MV - PQ. At levels of inflation up to about 30 percent, the relationship it = M* + V* - Q* holds approximately. When inflation is larger, a residual error item (e) accounting for cross products becomes significant.
The model estimates the demand for nominal money balances with the price level (CPI) included as a dependent variable, rather than estimating demand for real money balances with the assumption of no money illusion.
The available data for estimating Egypt’s money demand is limited and the results presented should therefore be interpreted with caution. Monetary aggregates are annual averages of monthly observations from the IMF’s International Financial Statistics (IFS) database. The time series for the consumer price index and real GDP are obtained from official sources. In the absence of a complete treasury bill or interbank market interest rate series for the whole sample period, an average of the three-month lending and borrowing rate was used to proxy for the domestic interest rate (Int). The offshore interest rate (Int*) was calculated as the three-month Eurodollar offer rate in London minus the actual depreciation of the Egyptian pound vis-Á-vis the U.S. dollar during the same period
This test is based on a nonstandard F–distribution given in Pesaran and Pesaran (1996).
For an interesting discussion relating to the forthcoming European Central Bank, see Ramaswamy (1997).
For a complete discussion of inflation targeting and its performance so far, see IMF (1996). In Egypt, major problems would hinder the adoption of a direct inflation target. Most important, the lack of a comprehensive and timely database of indicators on real sector activity would severely impair the inflation forecasting casting exercise. Additionally, the relatively small set of short-term instruments available to the central bank would leave limited flexibility to respond to adverse shocks, thus increasing the volatility of the monetary aggregates. Moreover, the robustness of the nominal demand for money function may suggest that money targeting is a more effective alternative.
For additional discussion of the Egyptian experience, see Schadler, Carkovic, Bennett, and Kahn (1993).
Sterilization of commercial bank reserves involved the sales of government treasury bills, the bulk of which (about 80 percent) was held by the commercial banks. Between 1990/91 and 1993/94, the increase in net international reserves (NIR) of the CBE was partially offset by a decline in net domestic assets (NDA) of the CBE, matched broadly by an increase in NDA of the banking system (excluding the CBE). If account is made of lost tax revenue (interest income is exempt from income taxation), the fiscal cost totaled about 10 percent of GDP between 1991/92 and 1995/96. A more comprehensive and accurate estimate of the fiscal costs of sterilization should take account of the higher interest (relative to the counterfactual of no sterilization) on all government debt engendered by sterilization.
In the first half 1996/97, most of the increase in portfolio inflows was accounted for by foreign purchases of equities, made available during the privatization program. In particular, global depository receipt (GDR) issues served as an attractive instrument for drawing foreign capital, accounting for between 45 and 50 percent of the inflows into equities. In the second half, inflows into equities slowed down considerably.
Moreover, and very important, this correction has occurred without any mishaps in the clearing and settlement system. Indeed, the average settlement period has been reduced substantially from over T + 25 days to about T + 4 - 5 days during the recent episode of capital inflows.
Until the liberalization of the exchange system in February 1991, the transaction-volume-weighted average of the multiple exchange rates vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar is used to calculate the dollar exchange rate and underlies the calculations of the effective exchange rates in this paper.
For a good review of the literature on this subject, see Williamson (1994).
These are, TOT. GCN, KCON, TECH.0 WV, and DEBT.
To make sure that the linear interpolation does not affect our estimation, we compared correlation matrices before and after the interpolation. We found no significant statistical difference.
The F-statistic for testing the significance of lagged variables in an error correction formulation is 4.7941, well above the 99th percentile critical band. Under the null hypothesis of no cointegration, the F-distribution is nonstandard and the lest involves a critical band rather than a critical value; see Pesaran and Pesaran (1996). We can therefore reject the hypothesis of no long-run relation.
This elimination also solves the problem of multicollinearity between the variables INV and TECH.
We assumed that all fundamental variables could be cointegrated. In keeping with the Edwards’ model, we limited the maximum lag to one.
Edwurds’ estimates for the speed of adjustment 9 are in the range 0.739–0.941. Elbadawi’ estimates are 0.67–0.78.
This reduces our sample by 12 observations. The dummy variable for the Middle East conflict of 1990–91(MECON) is not smoothed for obvious reasons.
For a summary of these initiatives as well as the benefits of debt relief in general, see IMF (1994).
This overview draws on material in the World Bank Country Economic Memorandum, “Egypt: Issues in Sustaining Economic Growth” of March 1997, and data reported are from the World Bank databases, unless otherwise indicated.
Based on household income, expenditure and consumption surveys carried out by the Egyptian authorities in 1995/96 and Cardiff (forthcoming).
Female primary school enrollment is, however, higher than in Morocco and Pakistan.
Adult illiteracy for women is 65 percent.
See Cardiff (forthcoming).
This section is based on AM and Adams, Jr.(1996).
This mapping is not exact in a few cases, for example, the electricity distribution companies, which are part of the electricity sector in the national income accounts, fall under Law 203. Similarly, there are some Law 203 companies in the transport and communications sector and hotel sector that do not belong in the category of industry and mining in the national accounts.
One implication of this partial assimilation of the economic authorities in the budget is that measured public saving could be incorrect insofar as the true financial position of the economic authorities is different from that reflected in the budget, where transfers to the economic authorities are identically equal to their investment. But if economic authorities are actually incurring losses, that is, dissaving, this would not he reflected in the budget. Another classification issue that needs to be borne in mind is that private investment in the national income accounts includes that undertaken by the public enterprise sector.
Excluding the Export Development Bank of Egypt, which, although a joint-venture bank, is to remain majority owned by the public sector.
At present, indicators of the Egyptian banking performance are fragmentary. This report is based on published financial statements for the public commercial banks; aggregate published data for the commercial banks; and data provided by the Egyptian authorities.
The incidence of nonperforming loans is estimated to be the same for the public commercial banks as for the industry as a whole.
Specifically, legislative efforts have been undertaken to discontinue the discriminatory treatment of foreign trading companies; governmental approval (and suspensions of letters of credit) for imports were abolished in 1993; investment-related controls on imports of equipment were abolished in 1993, as were import restrictions maintained by the Ministry of Military Production.
For estimates of the global effects of the Round, see Francois and others (1995), Hertel and others (1996), and Goldin and van der Mensbrugghe (1995), These studies emphasize that countries that undertake the most meaningful liberalization and improve the supply capacity of their economies stand to gain the most from the Uruguay Round.
The commitment to bindings led to effective reduction in about 10 percent of all tariff lines (excluding the textiles and clothing sector) for which tariffs in December 1995 were above the bound levels. For these lines, the average reduction was about 11 percent, with slightly larger tariff reductions in the industrial sector, yielding average price reductions in the domestic market of about 6 percent.
It normally takes at least one year following signing for the European Parliament to ratify the agreement and make it effective.
Loans were classified into substandard, doubtful, and loss categories, depending on whether interest payments were 3, 6, or 12 months late. Corresponding provisions were set at 20 percent, 50 percent, and 100 percent of the relevant loan amount.
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