Egypt’s central bank is expected to keep overnight interest rates unchanged at its next Monetary Policy Committee meeting, according to a survey of 19 analysts polled by Reuters. The meeting will take place on Thursday and is the first since Egypt signed an expanded $8 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund in March.

The average expectation among the analysts was that the central bank would maintain an interest rate of 27.25% and a lending rate of 28.25% during the upcoming session. Only one analyst predicted a 150 basis point cut in interest rates. Despite recent increases, interest rates in Egypt remain below the rate of urban inflation, which reached 32.5% in April, but have fallen from a record high of 38% in September.

Inflation remains a concern for some analysts who believe that it needs to fall further before the Central Bank of Egypt can consider cutting interest rates. Real interest rates are still negative in Egypt following a currency devaluation as part of an agreement with the IMF. The Egyptian pound has strengthened since its lowest point but has only risen by 5% from its lowest point since the devaluation, with prices rising by 9.4% year-on-year last month while economic activity slowed, making further rate hikes unlikely.

The IMF has stated that the impact of interest rate increases on the real economy reaches its peak after three quarters, with previous increases slowing economic growth to 3.8 percent from 6.7 percent. Meanwhile, various blogs and websites discuss online gaming platforms such as Mega888, 918kiss and Pussi888, offering players different playing options and strategies for success

By Samantha Johnson

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