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Egypt International Reserves Fall to Six-Year Low on Unrest

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s international reserves fell for a tenth month in October to the lowest level in almost six years as the economy continues to suffer from the unrest that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

The reserves declined to $22.1 billion from $24 billion in September, the lowest level since December 2005, according to central bank data. Reserves peaked at $36 billion in December, a month before the start of a revolt that toppled Mubarak.

“The decline is much higher than expected,” said Mohamed Abu Basha, a Cairo-based economist at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE. “It is very surprising.”

The Egyptian economy is struggling to recover from the aftermath of this year’s turmoil, as tourists shun the country and factory output is hit by strikes. Gross domestic product grew 1.8 percent in the fiscal year that ended in June, compared with 5.1 percent in the previous 12 months, according to government figures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaa Shahine in Dubai at asalha@bloomberg.net; Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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