Egypt's central bank paid $8 billion in imports, backlogs in past two months

Bassem Abo Alabass , Thursday 24 Dec 2015

 Central Bank of Egypt
File Photo: Central Bank of Egypt Cairo December 30, 2012 REUTERS

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said that $8 billion in trade transactions have been executed in the past two months, clearing up investors' previous backlogs and meeting all economic needs, a CBE source said in emailed comments to Ahram Online on Thursday.

“The Central Bank foreign exchange management model for 2016 covers comfortably the country's needs from imports of all strategic goods including fuel, food and private sector requirements,” the source said.

On Wednesday, Reuters cited anonymous sources saying that Egypt is struggling to pay for US dollar-priced oil products and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, cancelling purchases and asking suppliers to extend payment terms to 90 days after delivery earlier this month due to a current currency crisis.

The sources said that Egypt has asked oil and LNG suppliers to extend payment terms according to existing arrangements.

Egypt is obliged to pay for LNG imports 15 days after a cargo unloads, and is late in paying around $350 million to LNG suppliers.

In the same context, the CBE source said it was more wise for the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to operate using trade terms – the request to extend payment – to have the opportunity to create further cash flows for billions in new investments under way rather than only using its capital. 

"These are basics of good financial management,” he said

Egypt's reserves stood at $16.423 billion in November, announced the central bank earlier this month.

Egypt entered the LNG market with a burst of imports earlier this year, making it one of the world's top growth markets, after leasing a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) from Norway's Höegh LNG for five years in April.

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