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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Egypt’s FX reserves fall for first time after EGP float

Foreign reserves have fallen for the first time in two years: Egypt’s net foreign reserves fell in December for the first time since the currency float, coming at USD 42.551 bn fromUSD 44.513 bn at the end of November, the CBE said yesterday. The fall is attributed to year-end interest payments made to foreign treasury bill investors, as well as other interest payments and arrears owed to other countries, CBE Sub Governor Rami Aboul Naga told Youm7.

Could the delayed disbursal of the IMF loan have something to do with this? Naeem Brokerage head of research Allen Sandeep told Reuters that receiving the fifth tranche of the USD 12 bn IMF fund facility will be reflected in the January figure, sending foreign reserves back to their end-November levels. Agreeing with Sandeep, Alia Mamdouh, director of macro and strategy at Beltone Financial, said “I don’t think it’s alarming because we are expecting the tranche to be disbursed in January, and 5 bn EUR bonds are expected to be issued in the first half of this year.” Backing the sub governor’s comments, Mamdouh also pointed out that the CBE had to pay USD 3 bn in liabilities in December.

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