Egypt's foreign reserves climb to $26.3 bln in January: CBE

Ahram Online , Sunday 5 Feb 2017

CBE governor Tarek Amer (AFP)

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said on Sunday that the country's foreign reserves hit $26.3 billion at the end of January 2017, rising from $24.2 billion last month.

The announcement comes a few days after central bank governor Tarek Amer said that Egypt received a total of $4 billion in yields from Eurobonds issued on the global bond market last week.

Egypt had $36 billion in reserve before the 2011 uprising that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak ushered in a period of political turmoil, scaring away tourists and foreign investors, two key sources of foreign currency.

In late December, the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved the release of the second $1 billion tranche from a $3 billion loan package to support Egypt’s economic reform programme.

Egypt also received last month the second $500 million tranche from a $1.5 billion loan package from the African Development Bank.

In November, the CBE received an initial $2.75 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a $12 billion loan.

A second tranche of the loan will be disbursed to Cairo in late April.

Among the benchmarks needed for the second tranche are money supply, credit from the CBE, reducing the budget deficit and increasing international reserves, according to the head of the IMF's mission to Egypt Chris Jarvis.

In November, Egypt's central bank decided to freely float the pound and raise key interest rates to alleviate a dollar shortage in the country.

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