Egypt posts $111.5 mln initial surplus in FY2018: FinMin

Egypt’s Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said the government has managed to achieve an initial surplus of 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($111.5 million) in the financial year 2017/2018, adding that the state targets  an initial surplus of 2 percent in the current financial year.

Maait said that Egypt has been registering a deficit for the past 15 years, while borrowing to provide food and drink and to cover essential expenses.

The minister also said that he expects the issuance of new sovereign bonds in the first quarter of 2019/2020, pointing out that the ministry is working to diversify markets covered by the new offerings.

He added that the ministry issued sovereign bonds in USD and euros last February and April, and that it is studying the issuance of sovereign bonds in other currencies, although no decision has been taken yet in this regard.

Maait affirmed that the ministry has paid 1.2 billion pounds from the state treasury to Export Development Fund during the past weeks, including 500 million pounds last week.

Maait also said the ministry is prepared to release the portfolio of state firms, whose stakes will be offered on the stock exchange; however, the current state of the companies on the market does not fulfill requirements set by the Cabinet.

Maait said that foreign exchange reserves have increased to cover nine months of imports, a rate that has not been achieved in the history of Egypt.

Last July, Egypt’s finance ministry said the general budget achieved an initial surplus for the first time in more than 10 years, compared to a deficit of 47 billion pounds during the same period of the previous financial year.

Source: Ahram Online