Egypt’s foreign debt hits $88.2 bln in March: CBE

Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said in a statement on Monday that the country’s foreign debt reached $88.2 billion at the end of March 2018, a $9.1 billion or an 11.6 percent increase since the end of June 2017.

The CBE underlined that the net use of loans and facilities increased by $7.4 billion and the exchange rate of most currencies borrowed against the US dollar has risen by $1.7 billion.

In addition, CBE highlighted that the external debt service burden reached $10.9 billion during the period from July to March of the financial year 2017/2018, noting that the ratio of the balance of external debt to GDP has amounted to 36.8 percent, which is safe according to international standards.

Meanwhile, CBE pointed out that the total domestic public debt reached 3.356 trillion pounds, reaching 86.8 percent of GDP at the end of March, explaining that 84.8 percent of the debt is government debt, 8.1 percent for public economic bodies and 7.1 percent for the National Investment Bank.

CBE also explained that the net balance of domestic debt owed by the government amounted to 2.99 trillion pounds in March, an increase of 313 billion pounds during the period from July to March of the financial year 2017/2018.

Recently, a number of international financial institutions and organizations praised Egypt’s progress in implementing its economic reform programme.

On Monday, the World Bank Vice President for Africa Hafez Ghanem stressed that Egypt witnessed remarkable improvement in its economic indicators, reflected by the increase in growth rates and cash reserves.

“This improvement qualifies the Egyptian market to receive more investments”, Ghanem noted.

In press statements on the sidelines of the African group of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG), which concluded in the Red Sea resort of Shram El-Shiekh on Monday, Ghanem said that the bank has allocated $18 billion as financing for the African continent during 2018.

‘Egypt’s portion of these financings will increase during the coming period’, he asserted.

Ghanem highlighted that Egypt is one of the countries which seriously implemented economic reforms over the past years, thanking the Egyptian government for organizing the conference.

In 2014, Egypt embarked on a plan to introduce a number of fiscal reforms, including fuel subsidy cuts that increased prices up to 78 percent, as well as imposing new taxes to ease a growing budget deficit.

Source: MENA