Cash-strapped Egypt is launching a new program to encourage overseas Egyptians to invest some of their foreign exchange savings in special dollar-denominated certificates, in a bid to repatriate some of the foreign exchange held by expatriate Egyptians and boost central bank reserves which stood at $16.5bn at end-February, less than half the $34bn level before the 2011 revolution.

The “Biladi” certificates will be marketed by three state-owned Egyptian banks: National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque du Caire and Banque Misr. Immigration Minister Nabila Makram says they will provide overseas Egyptians with a high return whilst bolstering CBE reserves. Certificates will be offered with maturities of one, three and five years with annual yields of 3.5%, 4.5%, and 5.5% respectively. (CONTINUED - 399 WORDS)