Foreign reserves rise by $99M in August: CBE
Central Bank of Egypt -YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Egypt’s net foreign reserves rose by $99 million to $16.83 billion by the end of August, up from $16.73 billion in July, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on its official website Sunday.

In July, the foreign reserve went up by 0.3 percent to register $16.73 billion, compared to $16.68 billion in June. 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.

Egypt’s foreign reserves experienced a sharp decline after former President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation in 2011—from $35.8 billion at the end of December 2010 to only $17.48 billion in April from $17.41 billion in March this year according to CBE data. Revenues from tourism and foreign direct investments—two key sources of hard currency—have been hurt dramatically by political upheaval since 2011.

The reserve saw slight recovery after former President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in 2013 due to $12 billion in aid pledged to Egypt from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, the reserve is expected to slide again as  Egypt will repay around $2.5 billion to the Qatari government in two installments, CBE’s  governor Hisham Ramez said in an interview with Al-Nahar channel last week.

The first installment valued at $500 million is scheduled to be repaid in October, while the second repayment valued at $2.2 billion will be returned at the beginning of November, Ramez said.

“Egypt is committed to the timely repayment of the Qatari deposit,” Ramez said, reiterating the government’s pledge to repay other countries’ dues.

On the other hand, the government aims to attract new investments through an upcoming donor conference which Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz called for in a congratulatory cable to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi following his election win.

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