Egypt’s foreign reserves dips

Egypt’s foreign reserves dropped by a further $3.07 billion in April as investors pulled cash from emerging markets. The country’s central bank says this has put a drain on funds that has pushed Egypt to seek help from the International Monetary Fund.

Reserves fell to $37.037 billion at the end of April from $40.108 billion at the end of March after having fallen by $5.4 billion in March.

Net foreign assets of the country’s banks plummeted by 162.12 billion Egyptian pounds or $10.33 billion in March, according to Central bank figures.

Egypt announced on April 26, that it is seeking IMF financial support in the form of a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and its Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), both designed for countries facing urgent or potential balance of payments problems.

The IMF’s executive board is scheduled to consider both requests on Monday. Egypt can borrow as much as $2.78 billion under the RFI and about $4 billion per year under the SBA, according to analysts and information on the IMF website.

Foreign investors in March, sold the equivalent of 149.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($9.5 billion) of Egyptian pound treasury bills, more than half of their holdings, data published on Thursday on the central bank website showed.

Foreign currency inflows stopped from tourism from mid-March, while remittances from workers outside of Egypt have also come under threat.

Tourism earned Egypt $13 billion and remittances $26.8 billion in 2019.


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