Egypt's current account deficit narrows to $1.6b
December 11, 2017 | 1:02 PM
by Reuters
Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters in downtown Cairo. - Reuters file picture

Cairo: Egypt's current account deficit narrowed to $1.6 billion in the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year from a deficit of $4.8 billion in the same period a year earlier, the central bank said in a statement on Sunday.

The overall balance of payments surplus was $5.1 billion compared to $1.9 billion in the same period a year earlier, the statement said.

Egypt's economy has been struggling since a 2011 uprising drove tourists and foreign investors away, but a $12 billion International Monetary Fund deal signed last year is hoped to put the country back on track.

The trade deficit narrowed by 5 per cent, reaching $8.9 billion from $9.4 billion the previous year due to a rise in exports, the statement said.

Oil exports rose by 16.8 per cent while non-oil exports by 8.6 per cent.

"Net inflows of FDI (foreign direct investment) in Egypt registered $1.6 billion, as a direct result of the 84.2 per cent rise in the net inflow for oil sector investments," the statement said.

Portfolio investment net inflows rose to $7.5 billion against a net outflow of $840.9 million the previous year, due to a hike in foreign investment in Egyptian debt.

Egypt's central bank has raised key interest rates by 700 basis points since it floated the pound currency last year, generating appetite for Egypt's debt.

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