NBE to launch $1.8bn mortgage fund
Cairo, July 12, 2009
State-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Egypt's largest commercial bank by assets, is setting up a 10 billion Egyptian pound ($1.79 billion) fund to finance home mortgages, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
The business daily Al-Alam al-Yom quoted NBE Chairman Tarek Amer as saying NBE was seeking to provide loans to home buyers at low instalments extending up to 20 years.
Egypt has revamped laws and made property registration easier during the past few years to spur mortgage financing.
However, banks have been reluctant lenders, citing such concerns as whether the rules on repossession in cases of default would be upheld. Some banks have also complained about the limited availability of sources of long-term funds.
NBE, which the paper said was expected to launch the fund on Sunday, would provide 80 percent of the cost of homes and the the loans would range between 40,000 and 3 million pounds, Tarek said.
NBE officials were not immediately available for comment. Total outstanding mortgages in Egypt were about 3 billion pounds at the beginning of 2009, newspapers have reported.-Reuters