The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) stated that foreigners continued to inject new investments into government Treasury Bills (T-Bills) for the third month in a row, following the decision to float the national currency.
In a press release on Tuesday, CBE said that foreign investments in T-Bills amounted to EGP 11.5bn in January 2017, excluding the value of the consumed bills.
According to the CBE, the outstanding balance of foreign investments in bills in January reached EGP 21.7bn ($1.153bn), up from EGP 0.989bn ($112m) at the end of October 2016. The CBE noted that these figures reflect the confidence of international investors in the future prospects of the Egyptian economy and its ability to overcome the current challenges.
Moreover, CBE said that—while some analysts have seen foreign investments in bills as hot money, since they have been invested in short-maturity financial instruments that can exit the market quickly—T-bills remain one of the most important sources to finance developing and developed economies, provided they are utilised well.
It added that Egypt’s success in marketing and selling USD-denominated bonds on international markets with varying maturity periods of up to 30 years, shows the interest of these investors in investing in short and long term bonds in Egypt and their confidence in the Egyptian economy.
Moreover, CBE noted that some foreign investors believe that flotation of the national pound was a turning point to revive the soundness of the Egyptian economy. “This enabled government debt instruments of varying maturity bonds in Egypt and abroad to acquire the demand of foreign investors as a tool to achieve diversity and balance in their investment portfolios,” the press release read.
Hot money is a type of money deposited in an account with CBE. They are not included in the assets of the reserve, due to their special nature, which demands that they can be withdrawn at any time.
Foreign investment in treasury bills amounted to $11bn before 25 January 2011. They declined to less than $25m as of the beginning of 2016.
Deputy governor of the CBE for economic research, Naglaa Al-Nozihy, said last week, that the return of demand from foreign investors for bills reflects their confidence in the Egyptian economy and the economic reform measures recently introduced by the government, as well as the decisions taken by the CBE lately.
In her remarks, Al-Nozihy added that this jump in investments in government T-Bills indicates that Egypt is moving towards the right path by implementing the economic reform programme, especially since other positive indicators have been emerging in terms of tourism, decline in imports, increases in exports, and in bridging the budget deficit.