CAIRO: Egypt’s foreign reserve has noted no changes as of the end of April, maintaining the same level as March at U.S. $17.420 billion, up from U.S. $17.307 billion in February, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) revealed during a Cabinet meeting Sunday, MENA reported.
Egypt’s foreign reserves steadily declined in the wake of the political and economical turmoil following the January 25 Revolution, which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, reaching an average of U.S. $13.5 billion in 2013, compared to an average of U.S. $36 billion before 2011.
Foreign reserves improved due to the U.S. $12 billion aid pledged to Egypt by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.
“Foreign reserves will continue growing despite continued political and economic turmoil,” CBE Governor Hisham Ramez told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab in March, which saw an increase of U.S. $113 million in foreign reserves.
The government should encourage the importation of products of added value, rather than importing raw materials, fruits and vegetables amid rising local prices, Ramez added in an interview with CBC channel early in April.
The foreign reserves consist of the main international currencies: the U.S. dollar, the euro, the British pound, and the Japanese yen. The foreign reserve allows the government to purchase basic commodities such wheat and petroleum products, and pay off premiums and interest on foreign debts.
Egypt’s currency basket changes on the basis of currencies’ exchange rate and stability in the global markets, according to a plan prepared by CBE officials.
The Gulf aid included an Emirati U.S. $2 billion deposit in the Central Bank and U.S. $1 billion as a non-refundable grant. Saudi Arabia deposited U.S. $2 billion in the Central Bank; U.S. $1 billion in cash and U.S. $2 billion in petroleum aid, while Kuwait deposited U.S. $2 billion in the bank, with U.S. $1 billion in petroleum aid and U.S. $1 billion as a non-refundable grant.