Egypt paid external debts worth $2.25bn in July, driving foreign exchange reserves at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) down, according to a CBE press release.
The CBE announced on Sunday that its foreign exchange reserves dropped to $15.536bn at the end of July from $17.546bn at the end of June—a decline of $2.0098bn.
This the lowest point for foreign exchange reserves since January 2015.
The CBE attributed the decline to the payment of $1.02bn of bonds owed to Qatar, $715m to Paris Club, and $250m to Libya, which is the first tranche of Libya’s deposit at the CBE.
Moreover, the CBE also paid $207m of dues owed by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and $55m for short-term commitments, in addition to paying for the needs of ministries and government bodies of hard cash and covering the needs of basic commodities, including food and medicine.
The CBE noted that is has successfully paid for all external debts and secured foreign cash to cover import needs, which it considered a positive step in light of the standing economic challenges.
“The decline in reserves is usual and expected in January and July of each year, due to the payment of debts owed to the Paris Club,” the CBE said. “It also coincided with the repayment date of the last remaining debts owed to Qatar for bonds.”
The total sum of dues paid to Qatar amounts to $7bn.
The CBE foreign exchange reserves are currently composed of gold worth $2.602bn, foreign currencies of $11.991bn, special drawing rights (SDRs) worth $789m, and loans to the International Monetary Fund worth $46m.