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Egypt's central bank launches new risk-free interest rate benchmark

The Central Bank of Egypt (SAE) launched a new risk-free interest rate benchmark called the Cairo Overnight Interbank Average, or CONIA, on Aug. 2.

The benchmark will be published beginning October and was developed by the Egyptian Money Market Contact Group. It was set up in 2018 to enhance the safety and efficiency of Egypt's money markets.

Following the benchmark's launch, the group — comprised of the Egyptian central bank, commercial banks and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development — intends to work toward developing instruments that will use it.

CONIA indicates rates on interbank transactions that are more or less risk-free due to their brief tenor.