Egypt Reserves Rebound, Currency Takes Further Pounding

Egypt’s foreign reserves jumped by $3bn to $19.59bn at the end of September – the highest since June 2015 – according to latest figures from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Egypt’s foreign reserves stood at $36bn before the January 2011 revolution, but the political unrest which followed has gradually reduced foreign exchange earnings with a fall in tourism arrivals and foreign investment.

No reason was given for the rise in reserves, but a $1bn deposit from the UAE was recently placed with the CBE with the receipt of international loan installments – including a $1bn tranche from a $3bn World Bank loan – likely provided the key boost. In addition to the UAE, fellow Gulf monarchies Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also been key supporters of Egyptian president Sisi. Egypt’s finance minister recently indicated that his country was close to finalizing a further $2bn in Saudi support (MEES, 23 September): it is unclear if this has been received. (CONTINUED - 381 WORDS)