Egypt's forex reserves down to $15.5 bln on repayment of external debts

Ahram Online , Monday 8 Aug 2016

Dollars Pounds exchange	(AP)
Dollars Pounds exchange (AP)

Egypt’s foreign currency reserves dropped two billion dollars end of July to register a total of $15.5 billion compared to the month before, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced late on Sunday.

“The CBE succeeded during this month [July] to pay off all the external obligations and save foreign currency for import needs, which is considered [effective] under the current economic challenges,” read a statement on its official website.

The bank went on to list the financial commitments that it had met as follows:

-$1.02 billion to Qatar worth of bonds
-$715 million to repay Paris Club’s outstanding debts
-$250 million to repay the first tranche of the Libyan deposit at the CBE
-$207 million to clear the backlogs of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation
-$55 million to meet general short-term obligations

Egypt, which relies heavily on imports to support its 91-million population, has been suffering from an acute shortage of the US currency in the wake of 2011 uprising which followed by political and security unrests that have spooked tourists and foreign investors, two major sources of the greenback.

In late July, Egypt said it was close to reaching an agreement to sign a lending programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease its funding gap by seeking to secure $12 billion in financing over a three-year period.

Egypt expects also to be receive $1 billion from the World Bank, the first tranche of the three-year loan programme that worth $3 billion to support the state budget, when it finalises the required local legal procedures.

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