Egypt's foreign reserves rise to $26.363 billion at end of January

Sunday 05-02-2017 06:45 PM

A man counts U.S dollars and Euros at a money changer office in central Cairo, Egypt, December 27, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

By Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's net foreign reserves rose to $26.363 billion at the end of January from $24.265 billion at the end of December, the central bank said on Sunday.

The country had roughly $36 billion in reserves before an uprising in 2011 ushered in a period of political turmoil, scaring away tourists and foreign investors, key sources of hard currency.

The central bank floated the Egyptian pound in November as part of an economic reform programme. The move helped Egypt clinch a $12 billion three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund.

An IMF delegation was in Cairo in January to prepare for a review required before disbursing the second instalment of the loan, expected to be $1.25 billion, which the Fund earlier said Egypt was on track to receive. The first instalment, $2.75 billion, was disbursed in November.

Egypt sold $4 billion of Eurobonds in three tranches in January, raising twice as much as targeted and at lower yields than initially expected. It was not immediately clear if the rise in reserves was a consequence of the sale.

The government's reforms include loosening capital controls, ending energy subsidies, reforming public enterprises and overhauling monetary policy in a bid to restore economic stability and long-term growth.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Eric Knecht and John Stonestreet)


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