CAIRO: Egypt’s net international reserves fell to $ 15.291 billion at the end of March, marking a $165 million decline from 15.456 billion at February-end, the Central Bank of Egypt announced Tuesday.
The slip was unexpected, as financial deposits pledged by Gulf States leaders at the economic summit held in Sharm al-Sheikh March 13-15, were supposed “to be delivered few days after the event,” according to earlier statement from CBE’s governor, Hisham Ramez.
Gulf countries promised a total of $12.5 billion in aid and investments to Cairo on the first day of the three-day economic summit held in Sharm al-Sheikh March 13-15.
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates each pledged $4 billion to Egypt; $1 billion of the Saudi commitment and $2 billion of the Emirati investment are to be deposited in the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE.) Oman pledged $500 million.
However, Egypt’s Investment Minister Ashraf Salman was quoted by Youm7 Monday saying: “Egypt will receive a part of pledged Gulf deposits in the coming two weeks.”
“The deposits will help bolster Egypt’s foreign currency reserves and ease pressure on its local currency,” Ramez told state-owned MENA on March 17.
Egypt’s foreign reserves posted a sharp slip at the end of 2014, on the back of repaying a $700 million six-month premium on foreign debt owed to the Paris Club in December, a month after paying back a $2.5 billion deposit to Qatar, upon an official request from Doha.