Egypt Sells Fewer Repos as Local Debt Attracts Foreign Funds

Egypt sold 30 percent fewer repurchase agreements than last week, as renewed demand from foreign investors for government bonds eased funding pressure on domestic banks. The dollar bonds fell for a second day.

The North African country accepted bids for 7 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.15 billion) of the seven-day repos, allowing holders of government securities to sell them back to raise cash for a week at 9.75 percent, according to central bank data on Bloomberg. Bids for the securities fell to 7.14 billion pounds this week from 11.4 billion pounds last week.

Foreign investors took in “10 percent or more” of the treasury bonds auctioned Sept. 23, Nidal Assr, head of the central bank’s foreign-exchange management unit, said at a conference in Cairo yesterday. Domestic banks had stepped up their purchases of government debt after last year’s uprising prompted foreign investors to dump their holdings.

The government’s local-currency borrowing costs have tumbled this month as Qatar and Turkey pledged $4 billion in aid and the government said it seeks to complete an agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a loan of as much as $4.8 billion by the end of November. The average yield on three years bonds slid 183 basis points, or 1.83 percentage points, at yesterday’s sale to 14.02 percent

Overseas funds had cut their holdings of Egypt’s treasury bills to 800 million pounds in June from 59.3 billion pounds before the start of the January 2011 uprising, according to the most recent data from the central bank.

The yield on the country’s 5.75 percent dollar bonds due in 2020 gained eight basis points to 5.82 percent at 4:12 p.m. in Cairo, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The yield jumped 22 basis points yesterday, the most in two months, amid concern discord among European leaders will stall efforts to contain their region’s debt crisis.

The pound, subject to a managed float, was little changed at 6.0905 a dollar.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A. Namatalla in Cairo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at

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