Egypt's best dealer in government bills, according to a new ratings system (Photo: Ahram file)
The National Bank of Egypt was been rated the country's best dealer in treasury bills and bonds using a new ranking system introduced by the Ministry of Finance.
The ratings system mirrors that used in other international markets and will be regularly updated.
"The Ministry of Finance issues this rating to activate governmental securities market and increasing its liquidity as the most important tool and mechanism to afford finance to fill the budget deficit", Momtaz El-Saeed, Egypt's minister of finance said in a statement on Tuesday.
Commercial foreign banks operating in Egypt are very interested in such a rating, with a top place proving the success of a bank's management, El-Saeed added.
Last Sunday, Egypt's central bank cut back on the amount of 273-day treasury bills it was prepared to sell at an auction after potential buyers started demanding higher yields.
The average yield on the bills that the central bank sold rose to 15.822 per cent from 15.645 per cent at the last issue on 17 January, it said.
It sold bills worth LE1.452 billion ($240.7 million) instead of the LE4 billion pounds it had originally asked for.
Yields on treasury bills have steadily climbed since the start of Egypt's revolution and a series of credit downgrades by the world's major rating agencies.
In December, Fitch Ratings, downgraded Egypt's long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BB-' from 'BB' and its long-term local currency IDR to 'BB' from 'BB+'.