Tunisia's foreign currency reserves still below level seen as adequate
Reuters, Thursday 27 Jun 2013
Tunisian foreign reserves are up to cover 96 days of imports as they stand at 10.4 billion dinars

Tunisia's foreign currency reserves have hit just 96 days of import cover, below the level the central bank considers adequate, due to a plunge in foreign investments and tourism revenues, the bank said on Thursday.

Tunisia's central bank said foreign currency reserves stood at 10.473 billion Tunisian dinars by June 26, equal to 96 days of import cover and compared with 100 days a year earlier.

Central Bank Governor Chadli Ayari has said that Tunisia needs to maintain foreign reserves that cover at least 100 days' imports.

Tourism and foreign investment have slumped since a revolution that toppled Tunisia's former ruler two years ago, mirroring a similar situation in Egypt which is grappling with a budget crisis since its own revolution.

Bank said the decline in imports of foreign currency is due to an increase in the trade deficit and decline in investment and tourism revenues.

It kept the interest rate at 4 percent.

The North African country, which has also signed a $1.7 billion standby-loan agreement with the International Monetary fund (IMF), is struggling with rising inflation, a big external deficit and an uncertain political outlook.