External debt jumped to $45.3B by end of March, CBE
Central Bank of Egypt -YOUM7 (Archive)
By YASMINE SAMRA

CAIRO: Egypt’s external debt soared to $ 45.28 billion  from July 2013 to March 2014, marking a 4.8 percent increase compared with $43.2 billion in June, 2013, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) revealed in a report Wednesday.

External debt amounted to 15.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of March 2014, while it reached 17.3 percent by the end of June 2014, it reported.

Egypt’s total debt owed to the Paris Club rose to $3.71 billion by the end of March, marking an increase of 1.3 percent, compared to $3.66 billion in March, 2013, the report detailed.

Egypt repaid a $700 million premium of its foreign debt owed to the Paris Club, CBE Governor Hisham Ramez told Reuters earlier this week.

This premium is the country’s first foreign repayment in hard currency after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was inaugurated.

Meanwhile, the net foreign reserves fell $596 million to $16.687 billion by the end of June, down from $17.283 billion in May, the CBE announced on its official website Monday. Economic experts attributed the decline to Paris Club debt repayment.

The foreign reserve allows the government to purchase basic commodities, such as wheat and petroleum products, to pay off premiums and interest on foreign debts.

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