ABU DHABI: Egypt’s government hopes to return to the international bond market with a debt issue by the end of June, Egyptian Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an economic conference in Abu Dhabi, Dimian said the size of the issue, the timing and the tenor (maturity) would depend on market conditions.
“We are keeping an eye out, hoping to get into the market before the end of this fiscal year. The bottom line and final decision will be for the market to dictate – whether we are out of the consequences of turbulence that happened in China and its negative impact on emerging markets or not.
“Time comes first, then size, then tenor,” Dimian said.
He also said tax steps and other measures to strengthen state finances had been delayed, which would affect the current fiscal year’s budget deficit, but he expected introduction of a value-added tax would be the first legislation to be looked at by parliament this year.
The Russian plane crash in Sinai last October, which hit the tourism industry, helped to reduce projected economic growth in the current fiscal year to about 4 percent or 4.25 percent from an original projection of more than 5 percent, Dimian added.
This means the budget deficit for the current year is now expected to be between 11 and 11.5 percent of gross domestic product.
Dimian said Egypt would face a “financing gap” over the next three years of between $25 billion and $30 billion, but did not elaborate on the nature of the gap or how it would be filled.
He also said the dynamics of Egypt’s relationship with the wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council countries was changing, from the Gulf providing loans in a grand policy framework to direct investment.