Egypt’s BoP records a surplus of USD 5.1 bn
More good news a year on from the EGP float as Egypt’s balance of payments recorded a surplus of USD 5.1 bn during 1Q2017-18, an improvement from a surplus of USD 1.9 bn in the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to a CBE report (pdf) out yesterday. This came on the back of a significant improvement in Egypt’s current account deficit, which narrowed 65.7% to USD 1.6 bn in 1Q2017-18 from a deficit of USD 4.8 bn during the same period a year earlier.
Egypt’s trade deficit declined 5.0% to USD 8.9 bn for the quarter, down from USD 9.4 bn in 1Q2016-17. This largely came on the back of a 11.0% increase in merchandise exports to USD 5.8 bn from USD 5.3 bn in the same period last year. Egypt’s oil exports grew 16.8% to USD 1.8 bn in 1Q2017-18 from USD 1.5 bn a year earlier.
Non-oil exports rose 8.6% to USD 4.1 bn in the first quarter of the state’s fiscal year, up from USD 3.7 bn in the same period a year ago.
Merchandise imports were basically flat, rising just 0.7% to USD 14.8 bn.
Score another big win for tourism: Tourism receipts for the quarter grew to USD 2.7 bn, up from USD 758 mn in 1Q2016-17, in another sign of how far the sector has come in one year.
Remittances are soaring: Improving nearly 40% USD 6.0 bn, from USD 4.3 bn last year, also thanks to a cheaper local currency.
Net FDI fell slightly to USD 1.6 bn in 1Q2017-18 from USD 1.9 bn in the same period last year despite a 84.2% rise in investment in the oil industry, CBE data showed. N
Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said that foreign investment in Egyptian securities hit USD 19 bn as of 6 December since the EGP float, Reuters reports. Foreign portfolio investment rose to USD 7.5 bn in the CBE’s reporting period, thanks mainly to increased foreign holdings in Egyptian treasuries, which stood at USD 7.4 bn at the end of the period.
Suez Canal revenues also continued to be among the weak links, growing a marginal USD 82 mn to USD 1.4 bn in 1Q2017-18.