Egypt's balance of payments deficit narrows in 2012/2013

Ahram Online, Thursday 14 Mar 2013

Increase in Egyptian expatriate remittances, foreign direct investment help narrow balance of payments deficit in the first half of 2012/13

(Photo: Mearsk line official Facebook page)

Egypt's balance of payments deficit dropped to $551.5 million in the second half of 2012 from an $8 billion deficit in the same period the previous year, due to an increase in remittances and a surge in portfolio investments, the country's central bank said in a statement on Thursday.

The balance of payments (BOP) shows international transactions in goods, services and money.

Data released by the central bank show that Egypt's foreign investment portfolio saw an outflow of $260.2 million, compared to $3.3 billion last year, due mainly to a drop in the foreign sales of Egyptian treasury bills.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) also improved, showing a net inflow of $301.4 million. This contrasted with a net outflow of $418.1 billion in the same period.

The decrease in deficit was due to the increase in remittances from Egyptians living abroad to $9.3 billion, compared with $8 billion in the same period last year.

The trade balance deficit, meanwhile, surged to reach $16.8 billion, against $15.6 billion in the same period last year.

Although the deficit has dropped, it has not yet recovered from the pre-uprising rates where the balance of payments left a surplus of almost $570 million during the fiscal year 2010/2011.

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