Egypt’s net international reserves dropped for the third month in a row in September to $16.3 billion, almost wiping out the gains from Gulf Arab aid received this year.
Reserves dropped about $1.8 billion from August, the most this year, according to central bank data. Egypt had $1.25 billion in U.S.-backed bonds mature in September, which central bank Governor Hisham Ramez said will be repaid on time.
Egypt’s reserves had tumbled to $15.3 billion in March before Gulf Arab states extended $6 billion in aid. The country is planning a second Eurobond sale this year after raising $1.5 billion in June, according to Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian. The current level of reserves is enough to cover about 3 months worth of the nation’s merchandise imports, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Egypt’s foreign currency revenues have dwindled since the chaos accompanying the 2011 popular uprising against President Hosni Mubarak scared off investors and tourists. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday urged his government to cut back on imports to conserve foreign currency. Egypt imports about $60 billion annually worth of goods annually.