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Egypt’s forex reserves hit 36 bln USD, highest since Mubarak ouster

Egypt’s forex reserves hit 36 bln USD, highest since Mubarak ouster

Egypt's forex reserves
Egypt’s foreign currency reserves reach 36.036 billion U.S. dollars as of end of July compared to 31.3 billion in the end of June. (Reuters photo)

CAIRO, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) — Egypt’s foreign currency reserves reached 36.036 billion U.S. dollars as of end of July compared to 31.3 billion in the end of June, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said in a press release on Tuesday.

The foreign reserves also stood at about 36 billion dollars in January 2011, right before the eruption of mass protests that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, since when it was on the decline.

Investment inflows during July 2017 alone reached 7.7 billion dollars, while the country received 1.25 billion as the second tranche of a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), official MENA news agency quoted a CBE source as saying.

Over the past few years, Egypt has been suffering an economic recession due to political instability and relevant security issues that led to the decline of tourism, foreign currency reserves and foreign investments.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told reporters on Tuesday that the rise of foreign currency reserves to exceed 36 billion dollars is “good news,” describing it as a positive step in the country’s economic reform plan.

“It is a message of reassurance about the Egyptian economy,” said the Egyptian prime minister, adding that “it also means that the Egyptian economy is recovered in terms of available foreign currency to meet the needs of the state and the investors.”

Besides floating its local currency’s exchange rate to face dollar shortage, Egypt started last year a three-year economic reform program including austerity measures, fuel subsidy cuts and tax increase.

The program is encouraged by an IMF 12-billion-dollar loan, a third of which has already been delivered to Egypt in two tranches in November 2016 and July 2017.

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