Egypt’s latest auction, that offered US-dominated treasury bills (T-bills), managed to attract $988.5 million, exceeding its target of $975 million amount.
On Wednesday, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) offered US-dominated T-bills in one year term, due on 3 May 2022, and will be issued on Tuesday.
32 bids were submitted with a total value close to $1.2 billion; the CBE accepted 28 bids.
The T-bills were offered at an interest rate of 3 percent, up to 3.1 percent, with a weighted average interest rate of 3 percent, according to the CBE.
Besides this auction, in 2021, Egypt offered two tenders during January and February on the same T-bills type, with the same maturity of one-year.
The three auctions held in 2021 so far managed to attract an approximate total of $2.819 billion
The proceeds of this kind of auctions are used to replenish Egypt’s net international reserves (NIRs).
Egypt’s NIRs started to recover from the severe impacts of the pandemic since June 2020, after they sharply declined to $38.2 billion in March — down from $45.1 billion.
In March, Egypt’s NIRs continued their incremental rebound to reach $40.3 billion.
During April, JP Morgan announced that it is set to relist Egypt on its emerging-market government bond index (GBI-EM index), which paves the way for the country’s capital markets’ reflation.
Egypt was removed from the index in June 2011 on the back of the economic and political instability the country witnessed amid the 25th of January revolution, which eroded the country’s ability to meet its requirements.
This development comes in line with Egypt’s government efforts to reduce the cost of public debt as part of the country's economic reforms, according to Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.
Recent data published by the CBE showed that foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Egypt declined by 31.8 percent in the first quarter of the current FY2020/2021 — which ends in June — registering $1.6 billion, down from $2.4 billion in the same quarter of FY2019/2020, driven by the decrease of investment flows in oil and non-oil sectors.
Foreign investment inflows to Egypt are projected to go up to $7.4 billion by the second half of FY2021/2022, while Egyptian expat remittances are expected to rise by 7 percent in FY2021/22 to record $30 billion, according to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said.
Foreign investment in Egyptian debt instruments recorded a historical increase, rebounding the outflows witnessed in 2020 due to the pandemic, Bloomberg said in March.
It attributed this to the increase in real interest rates in Egypt, which placed second after Vietnam among more than 50 major economies tracked by Bloomberg, as well as returns of 1.7 percent since the end of December, compared to a drop of 2.6 percent across emerging markets.
Amid the ongoing crisis, Egypt’s one-year term debt instruments are expected to yield an annual average of 12.5 percent, 12.8 percent, 12.2 percent, and 11.5 percent from 2020 through 2023, while offering foreign investors a 1 percent real interest rate, as economies around the world cut rates, according to Oxford Business Group.