Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer said that the first tranche of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan was added to the bank’s foreign currency reserves, and it has not been used in the payment of any foreign debts so far.
The total value of foreign exchange reserves reached $24.3bn by the end of December 2016, with an increase of $1.2bn compared to November.
In November and December, Egypt had received the first tranche of the IMF loan estimated at $2.75bn, as well as $2.7bn from China within an agreement to swap currency between the two countries, in addition to $2bn of international bonds issued by the government in the Irish stock market.
Egypt had had about $36bn of foreign exchange reserves before the 25 Janaury Revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
The IMF has announced that Egypt received the first tranche of the agreed loan in mid-November, amounting to $2.75bn.
Amer said, during a meeting of the parliament’s Economic Committee, that the total imports in 2016 amounted to $76bn, while exports reached $19bn.
Parliamentary sources reported that Amer said that the imports volume is still large compared to the Egyptian export volume in the current period. Maize imports amounted to $1.7bn and beans imports amounted to $500m, which means that there is a need to develop the Egyptian agricultural sector to meet the consumers’ demand.
The IMF revealed on Wednesday the full details of Egypt’s economic reform programme for which the country obtained a loan of $12bn in three tranches. The details included the reduction of fuel subsidies by about 41% during the next fiscal year.