"Bloomberg":Egypt Posts Balance-of-Payments Surplus as Investments Surge
Tuesday 12/September/2017 - 12:13 PM
Egypt’s financial dealings with the outside world turned positive last fiscal year after an influx of foreign investment following the flotation of the pound in November.
The North African nation recorded a balance of payments surplus of $13.7 billion in the year ending June 30، compared with a $2.8 billion deficit a year earlier، the central bank said in a statement on its website. Egypt saw about $16 billion of net investments in its debt and equities last year، versus an outflow of about $1.3 billion in the previous 12 months، the regulator said.
Egypt removed most restrictions on its currency in November in a bid to end a foreign-exchange crisis that crippled economic growth، paving the way to a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. Foreign reserves have grown to over $36 billion، a record، as the government increased borrowing from international financial institutions and friendly nations.
“Despite the improvement، I would not say the economy has turned a corner yet،” said Hany Farahat، senior economist at Cairo-based CI Capital. “More needs to be done to ensure such short-term gains are sustainable، especially if the Egyptian pound gains some value in the coming months.”The current-account deficit، which includes trade in goods and services as well as financial transfers، narrowed 22 percent to $15.6 billion. The trade deficit narrowed 8.4 percent، or about $3.3 billion، to $35.4 billion as oil exports rose by $1.9 billion. Proceeds from non-oil exports rose 16 percent thanks to the “improvement of the competitiveness” after the pound lost about half of its value since the flotation، the central bank said.