The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has announced that the volume of Egypt’s external debt decreased to about $111.3bn in March 2020, from $112.67bn in December 2019.
In its monthly report issued on Monday evening, the CBE said that Egypt’s external debt rose, on an annual basis, by about $5.1bn or 4.8%, compared to $106.2bn in March 2019. The external debt in March 2020, however, increased by about $2.6bn compared to June 2019.
As for the external debt service, the CBE said it reached about $13.7bn between July 2019 and March 2020. This includes about $10.6bn in premiums on loans that have been paid, and EGP 3.1bn of new interest.
According to the CBE, the foreign debt ratio decreased to 31.7% of GDP in March 2020, stressing that it is within safe limits according to international standards.
Meanwhile, the CBE revealed that the financial position of banks in Egypt increased to about EGP 6.584trn in May 2020, compared to EGP 6.421trn in April 2020.
It added that the total bank capital stood at about EGP 157.1bn in May 2020, compared to EGP 156.6bn in the month before.
The CBE report added that the volume of banks’ investments in securities and treasury bills reached about EGP 2.66trn in May 2020, compared to about EGP 2.58trn in the previous month.
It added that the banking sector’s net foreign assets decreased by EGP 167.7bn during the period from July 2019 to May 2020, to reach EGP 132.411bn.
The CBE said that this decrease was driven by a decline in net foreign assets at banks, estimated at about EGP 26.8bn. It was also impacted by a EGP 140.9bn decrease in the CBE’s net foreign assets.
This comes at a time when the CBE indicated a EGP 755.5bn increase in net domestic assets in Egypt’s banking system during the period from July 2018 to May 2020, reflecting a growth rate of 21.2%.
The CBE announced an increase in customer deposits by the end of May 2020 by almost EGP 85bn to record EGP 4.603trn, compared to EGP 4.518trn in April 2020. It stated that government deposits rose by EGP 11.7bn to EGP 738bn by the end of May 2020, compared to EGP 726.3bn in the previous month.
Non-government deposits rose by the end of May to EGP 3.865trn, compared to EGP 3.792trn by the end of April.
According to the CBE, the volume of non-governmental local currency deposits amounted to about EGP 3.204trn, while foreign currency deposits amounted to the equivalent of about EGP 660.4bn.
In the same context, the CBE said that the total loan balances provided to bank clients increased by EGP 70bn during May 2020 to EGP 2.136trn, compared to EGP 2.093trn in April 2020.
The CBE explained that the volume of loans granted to the government amounted to EGP 655.5bn, while the total non-governmental loans rose to EGP 1.480trn. Of this EGP 122.3bn were granted in local currency, and the equivalent of about EGP 257.2bn in foreign currencies.
It added that the volume of credit facilities granted by banks operating in the local market to their customers reached about EGP 2.1546trn by the end of May 2020. This reflects an increase of EGP 300.3bn, at a rate of 16.2%, during the period from July 2019 to May 2020.
The CBE attributed this rise to an EGP 183.5bn increase in the volume of credit facilities granted by banks to non-government entities, a growth rate of 14%. There was a commensurate EGP 116.8bn increase in the volume of facilities granted to the government, reflecting a growth rate of 21.5%.
Egypt’s private business sector received the most financing by banks, with the CBE reporting that it obtained about 59.7% of total non-governmental credit facilities.
This sector, alone, obtained about 32% of the total facilities, followed by the services sector that acquired 25.6%, then the trade sector which took 10.7%. The agricultural sector, again, obtained the lowest percentage of the credit facilities volume granted by banks to Egypt’s various economic sectors. It acquired only 2% of the volume of these facilities until the end of April 2020.
Although it did not go into detail, the CBE noted that other sectors, foremost of which is the household sector, received about 29.7% of the volume of these facilities.