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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Egypt BoP nets USD 13.71 surplus in FY2016-17

Egypt’s balance of payments report for fiscal year 2016-17 is out. Here’s what you need to know: The carry trade boomed post-float as foreign investors looked to take advantage of high interest rates here. Oil and gas investment led a surge in FDI. Exports started to pick up. Tourism did reasonably well, all things considered, particularly in the back half of state’s fiscal year. Remittances picked up nicely after the float of the EGP, the Suez Canal is underperforming, and foreign companies here managed to repatriate a tiny slice of the profits they made. Here are the details:

Egypt’s balance of payments recorded a surplus of USD 13.71 bn in FY 2016-17, of which USD 12.2 bn was registered after the EGP was floated in November, central bank data showed on Monday. Egypt’s BoP had registered a deficit of USD 2.8 bn in the previous fiscal year. The increase was driven by inflows of USD 29.0 bn into the capital and financial account, as well as the current account deficit narrowing by 21.5% y-o-y to EGP 15.6 bn for the period, compared to USD 19.8 bn a year before.

Net FDI inflow grew to USD 7.9 bn in FY2016-17 from USD 6.9 bn a year before, mostly as the result of a USD 2.3 bn increase in net inflows into the oil sector. Portfolio investments netted USD 16.0 bn, thanks mainly to increased foreign holdings in Egyptian treasuries, which stood at USD 10 bn at the end of the period.

Merchandise exports increased by 15.9% y-o-y to USD 21.7 bn in the last fiscal year, driving trade deficit down by 8.4% y-o-y to USD 35.4 bn. This improvement in export figures came on the back of the heightened competitive advantage of Egyptian exports in light of their prices following the November float.

Tourism receipts captured USD 4.4 bn in FY2016-17, an increase of 16.2% y-o-y that’s mostly owed to improved receipts from January through June 2017 after a rough season July-December 2016.

Still underperforming was the Suez Canal, which saw its earnings decline during the fiscal year to record USD 4.9 bn, compared to USD 5.1 bn a year before, due to a decline in net transiting tonnage. Remittances remained strong, registering USD 17.5 bn for the period, compared to USD 17.1 bn a year before. While foreign companies operating in Egypt managed to repatriate c. USD 3.2 bn in profits during FY2016-17.

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