Central Bank Eases Loan Freeze on Importers and Manufacturers
Central bank regulators' decision to loosen restrictions on collateralized loans was the most-read article of September 2021. Central bank Governor Yinager Dessie (PhD) introduced a blanket freeze on collateralized loans the previous month, citing "economic sabotage." Regulators moved to exempt importers and edible oil producers from the freeze a few weeks later. The coffee industry and petroleum suppliers were granted exemption shortly afterwards. The freeze was eventually lifted completely in November that year. Regulators conceded that the restriction had affected the economy and the demand for credit has increased during the four-month freeze. “We had to choose between two evils,” said Solomon Desta, vice governor of financial institutions at the central bank.