The size of Egypt’s foreign debt increased by $5.2bn at the end of the third quarter (Q3) of fiscal year (FY) 2017/2018, recording $88.1bn in March 2018, compared to $82.88bn by the end of December 2017, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
The CBE said in a recent report that the foreign debt amounted to 36.8% of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) in March, compared to 36.1% in December 2017.
According to the CBE, the average external debt per capita stood at $841.2 at the end of March, compared to $790 in March 2017.
In previous press statements, CBE Governor Tarek Amer said that Egypt’s external debt and its services are at safe levels, and the country’s capabilities can bear more debts according to global indices.
He added that the state is currently using these debts to finance huge development operations.
Amer further added, “We have an advantage. Egypt has a very long-term foreign debt, ranging between 15 and 60 years,” noting that “the last Korean loan for the establishment of the fourth and fifth stages of the Cairo Metro will be paid over 57 years, with an interest of 0.1%.”
Meanwhile, the CBE revealed an increase in local public debt, reaching EGP 3.536tn at the end of March, compared to EGP 3.414tn at the end of December 2017—an increase of EGP 122.1bn.
According to the CBE, the local public debt reached 86.8% of GDP at the end of March, compared to 83.8% at the end of December 2017. The average local debt per capita reached about EGP 36,800 based on Egypt’s population of up to nearly 96 million people.