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The world of banking in Egypt began at the end of the 19th century, with the establishment of the Egyptian Arab Land Bank in 1880, considered to be the first bank in Egypt. As Egyptian banks' presence began to increase, foreign banks that were previously monopolizing the banking sector in Egypt became displaced.
Known as "the father of the Egyptian economy', Talaat Harb began the initiative of building Banque Misr, the first bank in Egypt to be wholly owned by Egyptians. From then on, the idea of building Egyptian banks flourished. Below, we have outlined the five oldest banks in the history of the Egyptian banking sector.
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Year of Establishment: 1880
Khedive Tawfik issued a decision to establish a joint-stock company in the name of the Egyptian Land Bank, whose mission was to assist farmers and landowners in Egypt and provide them with financial support to boost the productivity of their lands and help the agricultural sector in the Egyptian economy to flourish. Since its inception 140 years ago, the Egyptian Arab Land Bank has established itself as one of the largest banking entities in the country, specializing in real estate investments and trade finance.
Year of Establishment: 1898
One of the oldest Egyptian banks is the National Bank of Egypt, founded with a capital of with one million pound sterling. It’s functions and roles have consistently developed over time, in line with the different economic and political stages in Egypt. This bank monopolized the banking sector for 50 years. It essentially assumed the role of the Central Bank in the 50s before being nationalized in the 60s. After its nationalization, it acted as a pure commercial bank while also simultaneously carrying out the functions of the central bank areas where the latter had no branches. Since the mid-1960s, The National Bank of Egypt has been in charge of issuing and managing investment certificates on behalf of the government.
Talaat Harb began the initiative of building Banque Misr, the first bank in Egypt to be wholly owned by Egyptians
Year of Establishment: 1920
Banque Misr was established by pioneer economist and financial expert Mohamed Talaat Harb Pasha, who took it upon himself to spearhead the concept of investing in national savings and directing them towards economic and social development. It is considered the first Egyptian bank to be 100% owned by Egyptians. Banque Misr is one of the largest national banks, leading financing projects in various sectors.
In 1930, The Agricultural Bank of Egypt was established with a capital of one million pounds and the Royal Decree of the Egyptian Agricultural Credit Bank. In 1931, during the global economic crisis, its main aim was to provide loans to Egyptian farmers and protect them from foreign banks and moneylenders. It was originally named 'The Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit,' however, in 2016, renamed 'The Agricultural Bank of Egypt.'
Year of Establishment: 1952
Banque Du Caire was established as an Egyptian joint venture with a start-up capital which amounted to 500K Egyptian pounds and divided into 125K shares. The value per share was LE 4. In April 197, Banque Du Caire acquired 2 French banks: Credit Lyonnais, and Comptoir National d'Escompte de Paris.