S&P Negative On Egypt

Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has revised its long-term sovereign credit rating on Egypt to negative from stable.

But it has affirmed its B-/B long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings. The downgrade comes at a time when Egypt is constrained by foreign exchange shortages and external and fiscal deficits.

Egypt recently unveiled details of a three-year development plan (July 2016-June 2019) to revive its ailing economy and cut the budget deficit to 8-9% by the end of the decade from the current 11.5% (MEES, 1 April). Egypt’s cabinet this week approved a long-awaited plan to introduce VAT to replace the current sales tax (the plans await State Council review and final parliamentary approval). (CONTINUED - 376 WORDS)