Egypt’s foreign debts hit 80.8 bln USD: central bank

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Egypt’s foreign debts have reached 80.8 billion U.S. dollars by the end of September 2017, said the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in a statement on Wednesday.

“The foreign debts rose by 1.8 billion dollars in September 2017 compared to June 2017, marking a 2.3-percent increase,” said the statement.

“This percentage is still within the safe limits according to international standards,” the CBE statement added.

The country’s foreign debts rose by about 42 percent to 79 billion dollars during the 2016-17 fiscal year ending in June 2017, compared with 55.8 billion dollars a year earlier.

On Sunday, the CBE said that Egypt’s foreign currency reserves exceeded 38.2 billion U.S. dollars by the end of January, the highest since the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in January 2015, when it stood at 36 billion dollars.

Egypt has been facing economic recession over the past few years due to political turmoil and relevant security issues, which led to declining tourism and foreign investments amid growing budget deficit, inflation rate and foreign and domestic debts.

To face economic challenges, Egypt started in late 2016 a reform program encouraged by a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund, half of which has already been delivered to the most populous Arab and North African country.

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