Egypt’s external debt rises 9.7% to $73.88 billion in three months

Egypt’s external debt rose 9.7 percent from December 2016, to March 2017, according to the monthly report of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Monday.

The debt amount increased to $73.88 billion during the third quarter of financial year 2016/2017 ended in March 2017, from $67.332 billion in the second quarter of financial year 2016/2017 ended in December 2016.

In mid-July, Egypt’s central bank received $1.25 billion worth of the second and final disbursal of the first $4 billion tranche of a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

The deposit followed the IMF executive board’s approval of the first review of the loan, aimed to support the country’s cash reserve of foreign currency, which reached $31.3 billion at the end of June.

Egypt signed a three-year $12 billion IMF programme in November attached to sweeping reforms such as subsidy cuts and tax hikes aimed at luring back investment to its dollar-starved economy.

The country of over 90 million people has sought a variety of funding sources, from development loans to foreign grants and aid.