Egypt’s short-term dollar-denominated debt currently stands at $14 billion. This was the figure recorded by the end of 2018.
According to the country’s deputy finance minister, Ahmed Kouchouk, this represents a $3.25 billion reduction
He explained that the ministry has successfully managed long-term borrowing from international markets and used part of these funds to repay short-term foreign debt.
Short-term foreign debts strained Egypt’s financial situation as it approached 2016 to half the value of its foreign exchange reserves at 40 percent, but fell to 27.8 percent in 2018.
Egypt borrowed heavily from abroad after adopting a three-year economic reform programme backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since late 2016 and is facing a difficult repayment schedule for the next two years,.
As part of efforts to repay loans, the country is trying to increase its investor base, extend its debt payment plan with less interest and is considering issuing sukuk bonds worth $1.5 billion in the fiscal year 2019-2020
This will be the first offering of its kind in Egypt and will test investors’ willingness to invest in the Egyptian market.
Enterprise says the Egyptian government is optimistic about the sukuk market and expects to rely on it as an alternative source of financing.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde said Egypt has made substantial progress as evident in the success achieved in its macroeconomic stabilisation.
Lagarde noted that Egypt’s growth rate is among the highest in the region.
With the budget deficit on a declining trajectory and inflation on track to reach the Central Bank of Egypt’s target by the end of 2019, unemployment has declined to around 10 percent, which is the lowest since 2011.