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Egypt's foreign reserves rise to $28.5 billion in March

Ahram Online , Monday 3 Apr 2017
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The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on Monday that the country's foreign reserves rose to more than $28.5 billion by the end of March, from $26.5 billion in the month before.

CBE Assistant Sub-Governor Ramy Aboul Naga said on Sunday that foreign reserves were expected to reach their highest point since March 2011, according to state-run news agency MENA

In March, Egypt received the second $1 billion tranche from a $3 billion World Bank loan, as well as the second $500 million tranche from a $1.5 billion loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The World Bank's loan is intended to help in achieving fiscal consolidation, ensuring energy supply and enhancing competitiveness in the private sector.

Egypt is currently negotiating for the third and final $1 billion tranche of the World Bank's loan package to support the government’s economic reform programme, which started in July 2014.

Egypt's economic reform programme has included cutting subsidies and the introduction of new taxes, such as the value-added tax, as well as the floating of the Egyptian pound.

In November 2016, Egypt received an initial $2.75 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the board’s approval of a $12 billion loan, with a second tranche from the IMF expected in May.

Egypt's foreign reserves stood at $36 billion before the popular uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in January 2011. From 2011, Egypt experienced a period of political turbulence, which undermined Egypt's vital sources of foreign currency such as tourism and foreign investment.

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