CAIRO, 7 March 2023: Egypt's net international reserves (NIRs) increased in February by $128 million to reach $34.3 billion, up from $34.2 billion registered by the end of January 2023, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) stated on Sunday.
Egypt's NIRs were severly hit by the impacts of the war in Ukraine, dropping from $40.9 billion by the end of February 2022 to $37 billion in March when the war broke out.
In addition, the tightening policy adopted by the US Federal Reserve resulted in the exodus of about $25 billion in hot money.
The NIRs have started to recover since August.
Egypt’s balance of payments (BOP) improved in the first quarter of FY2022/2023 (July-September), as the current account deficit has narrowed by 20.2 percent to post $3.2 billion compared to $4 billion in the same period of the preceding fiscal year, according to recent data published by the CBE.
Revenues of tourism, Suez Canal and a rise in Egyptian expats remittances drove this improvement.
Egypt is currently engaged in a $3 billion loan programme with the International Monetray Fund (IMF).
Under the programme, Egypt committed to endure structural reforms in its macroeconomic schemes, fuel prices and foreign exchange policies (FX) as well as its debt structure along with several monetary and fiscal policies.
During the four years course of the programme, Egypt is estimated to suffer a $17 billion financing gap.
The government plans to bridge this gap through the sale of state-owned assets, securing $14 billion from international financial institutions, including the IMF, as well as issuing green and sovereign bonds that target a new base of investors, especially in the GCC and Asian markets