Egypt foreign reserves continue to slide in December

Ahram Online, Monday 6 Jan 2014

Net International Reserves currently stand at $17.032 billion, Central Bank of Egypt announces

Egypt Central Bank
The Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters in downtown Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s Net International Reserves (NIR) continued their slide in December 2013 to reach $17.032 billion by the end of the year, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on Monday.

Egypt's reserves have been dwindling since August, when they stood at $18.9 billion following a generous injection of financial aid from the Gulf.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait have pledged over $14 billion in aid to Egypt, with assurances of further assistance, since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in early July.

The rush of funds prompted the first positive credit actions Egypt has seen from international credit agencies in years.

In November, Standard and Poor's raised its long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings for Egypt from "CCC+/C" to "B-/B" with a "stable" rating outlook.

On Friday, Fitch Ratings raised Egypt's economic outlook from negative to stable, the first such action since 2011, when a revolution toppled the decades-long regime of strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's forex reserves have since fallen again due a combination of forex auctions, the cost of food and petroleum imports, and returning a $3 billion deposit to Qatar, as relations between the two countries turned sour after the ouster of Morsi.

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