Egypt T-Bill Yields Fall After Long-Term Debt Sales Scaled Back

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s borrowing costs fell at a 5.5 billion Egyptian-pound ($819 million) auction of treasury bills today after the nation scaled back long-term debt sales amid the worst local currency slump in a decade.

The Arab country sold three-month notes at an average yield of 12.87 percent, according to central bank data on Bloomberg, down four basis points, or 0.04 of a percentage point. The average yield on nine-month securities was little changed at 13.97 percent, the data show.

The government last week redirected sales of bonds to T-bills as Egypt’s biggest banks raised interest rates on three-year pound-denominated deposit certificates. State-owned National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr increased their rates by 2 percentage points and 1 percentage point, respectively, to 12.5 percent. The Finance Ministry reduced its quarterly fundraising target from longer-term debt by 44 percent and boosted sales of three-month T-bills by 71 percent, according to data on its website.

The moves came amid the biggest decline for the Egyptian pound since a devaluation in 2003. The currency was little changed at 6.7119 a dollar as of 12:30 p.m. in Cairo, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The pound has weakened 7.8 percent since the central bank eased its support in December.

The yield on the government’s benchmark 5.75 percent dollar-denominated bonds due in April 2020 rose for the third week last week, adding six basis points, or 0.06 of a percentage point, to 6.62 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A. Namatalla in Cairo at anamatalla@bloomberg.net

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