Egypt's external debt has reached $111 billion in 2020, up from $48 billion in 2015, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer said on TV on Wednesday.
Amer noted the CBE has suspended the collection of loan installments for six months starting March and ending on 15 September due to the coronavirus pandemic. These amount to EGP 2 trillion. The CBE is yet to decide whether it will extend the suspension period, he added.
"The key role of the CBE is to curb the inflation rate, which reached its peak in the second quarter of 2017 when the inflation rate hit 33 percent as a result of the economic reform programme that started in November 2016," Amer said.
He added that Egypt has attracted $431 billion from global markets and Egyptian expats remmittances since President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was sworn in, stating that 260 international investment funds purchased treasury bills (T-bills) and bonds in Egyptian pounds due to their confidence in the Egyptian currency.
"T-bills and bonds that were offered in Egyptian pounds attracted $18 billion," according to Amer.
He added that Egypt has successfully passed the bottle neck of economic reform, which helped the country cope with global economic tensions, including the crisis between China and the US and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Egypt has paid $35 billion to cover commitments and essential goods for the market during the COVID-19 crisis, Amer said.
He announced that plastic coins, in EGP 10 and EGP 20, will be introduced to the domestic market soon.