Egypt’s foreign debt rises to $111.3bn

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Egypt’s external debt increased by 4.78 per cent year-on-year, to reach $111.3 billion, during the third quarter of the last fiscal year 2019/2020, ending last March.

The Central Bank of Egypt, in a statement on Tuesday, said that the external public debt rose from $106.22 billion in the third quarter of the previous fiscal year 2018/2019. The statement indicated that Egypt’s external debt declined quarterly, from $112.7 billion in December 2019, a $1.4 billion drop. Egypt has intensified external borrowing and directed to debt markets to provide foreign liquidity to rebuild foreign exchange reserves since the pound was floated in 2016.

In turn, the Egyptian government said, on Monday, that it had signed a loan agreement through conventional Islamic financing worth $2 billion, intending to finance the state’s general budget and support the local economy. Due to the negative economic and financial impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, Egypt’s need for foreign exchange increased, which affected the country’s total foreign exchange reserves.