Egypt's external debt up by 32 percent since July 2016

Ahram Online , Monday 31 Jul 2017

The Central Bank of Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

The Central Bank of Egypt said on Monday that the country’s external debt has increased since July 2016 by 32.5 percent, an increase of $18.1 billion, registering $73.9 billion in March 2017.

The CBE attributed the rise of external debt to the net increase in loans by $19 billion and the decreased value of currencies loaned against the greenback by $1 billion.

Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in loans from various lenders to help revive an economy hit by political upheaval since the 2011 uprising, and to ease a dollar shortage that has crippled imports and driven away foreign investors.

Earlier this month, the country received the final instalment of the first $4 billion tranche of a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In mid-August 2016, Egypt reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF over the three-year $12 billion loan to endorse the country’s fiscal reform programme, which the government embarked on in 2014 in an attempt to curb the growing state budget deficit.

Egypt is expected to receive a third instalment of $2 billion from the IMF between December and January, following the next review to take place between November and December, finance minister Amr El-Garhy told Reuters on Monday.

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