As Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves sank to $15.333bn at the end of December from $15.882 a month earlier (see graph), the Egyptian council of ministers announced on 6 January that it would tap the international bond market with a new issue worth $1.5bn to boost its foreign exchange reserves and attract foreign capital.

The cabinet said in a statement that its decision was prompted by an improvement in the assessment of Egypt’s economy internationally, as evidenced in last month’s rating by New York-based agency Fitch (MEES, 9 January). The statement added that the decision was also helped by the decline in US interest rates and the availability of liquidity on the international market. (CONTINUED - 310 WORDS)