Eritrea - Banking and securities



After the end of the war in 1991, the Central Bank of Eritrea and the Commercial Bank of Eritrea were reestablished, having been nationalized by the Ethiopian military junta in 1984.

The status of the National Bank of Eritrea (NBE) as central bank was clarified by a proclamation of April 1993. The Commercial Bank of Eritrea has a dozen branches across the country. It is the main retail bank and now has corresponding relations with both the Ethiopian and international banking systems. The Housing and Commerce Bank of Eritrea and the Agriculture and Industry Development Bank are also functioning, albeit at a very low capacity. In 1997, the government issued the Financial Institutions Proclamation, liberalizing the banking and insurance sectors to the private sector.

The CBE recorded assets of $800 million at the end of 2000. In mid-November 1994, the Housing and Commerce Bank of Eritrea started to issue dollar-denominated certificates of deposit with denominations of $1,000 and above, while the Eritrean Development and Investment Bank started operations shortly thereafter.

Eritrea was also hoping to establish offshore banking services and facilities to cater to the Middle Eastern market.

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