The headquarters of Egypt's Central Bank is seen in downtown Cairo (Reuters)
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced Thursday that Egyptian expat remittances rose to $5.2 billion during January and February, up from $3.9 billion during the same months in 2019.
CBE data showed that remittances saw an increase by $1.3 billion with an annual growth of 33.6 percent, recording $2.6 billion in January, up from $2.1 billion in January 2019.
Meanwhile, remittances rose on an annual basis by 40.3 percent in February, reaching $2.6 billion, up from $1.8 billion in February 2019.
In February, the CBE announced that remittances from Egyptian expats went up by 12.1 percent during the first five months of FY2019/2020, from July to November 2019, recording $11.1 billion, up from $9.9 billion in the same months of 2018.
Remittances from Egyptians abroad increased to $128.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6.8 percent. In November, remittances increased to $2 billion, up from $1.9 billion in November 2018.
Egyptian expat remittances are considered one of the key sources of hard currency along with the Suez Canal and the tourism sector.
Experts told Ahram Online recently that the government and CBE have to provide incentives for Egyptians abroad in order to encourage them to transfer their remittances to back Egypt’s foreign reserves that can protect Egypt’s economy against the harsh impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In March, Egypt’s net international reserves (NIR) dropped to $40,108 billion, down from $45,510 billion at the end of February, according to CBE data.
The CBE attributed the decline to the unprecedented blow to global financial markets arising from the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the sharpest portfolio flow reversal on record from emerging markets, including the Egyptian market.