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Egypt’s foreign reserves hit $44.513B by end of November

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Egypt’s foreign reserves increased by $12 million by the end of November 2018 to reach $44.513 billion, compared to $44.501 billion by the end of October 2018, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it said previously that foreign reserves hit $44.5 billion, which covers the imports for 9 months, which is an unprecedented period, accordingto the minister.

The state’s foreign reserves started to rebound after the delivery of the $12 billion three-year International Monetary Fund loan program in 2016.

The IMF Executive Board approved in November 2016 a three-year extended fund facility (EFT) loan to Egypt worth $12 billion to support its economic reform program.

On Oct. 31, IMF and Egypt reached a staff-level agreement to offer Egypt the fifth installment of IMF’s $12 billion extended fund facility arrangement, amounting to $2 billion.

By receiving the fifth installment, the total disbursements under the program will reach about $10 billion.

The current average of foreign reserves covers about eight months of Egypt’s commodity imports, which is higher than the global average of about three months of commodity imports.

Egypt spends an average of $5 billion monthly on imports with an annual total of more than $60 billion.

Foreign currencies in Egypt’s foreign reserves include the U.S. dollar, euro, Australian dollar, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan.

The main function of the foreign exchange reserve, including its gold and various international currencies, is to provide commodities, repay the installments on interest rates of external debt, and to cope with economic crises.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that included the introduction of taxes, such as the value-added tax (VAT), and cutting energy subsidies, with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

The country floated its currency in November 2016 before it clinched a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

– EGYPT TODAY

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Economy

World Bank to launch report on Egypt investment on Tuesday

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The World Bank will launch a new report under the rubric “Egypt: Boosting private investment and commercial funding of infrastructure” on Tuesday at the faculty of economics and political science.

The report will present a roadmap to attract private investments to the sectors of energy, transport, water and agriculture, the WB said in a statement on Thursday.

Attracting private investments to these sectors will reduce public spending and direct the resources towards more citizens, the statement said.

– EGYPT TODAY

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Economy

IMF hails CBE decision terminating repatriation mechanism

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lauded the decision by the Central Bank of Egypt terminating the foreign investors funds Repatriation Mechanism as vital for the economic reform program.

In statements to MENA on Thursday, Chief of IMF mission in Cairo Subir Lall said the fund’s board will convene by the end of December to discuss paying the fifth tranche of the $12-billion loan.

He underlined full support for the CBE decision.

The Central Bank of Egypt decided to terminate the Repatriation Mechanism as of December 4, close of business day, for any fresh foreign currency portfolio investments wishing to enter the local currency Egyptian T-Bills, T-Bonds market and the stocks listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.

This will not apply to balances held inside the mechanism before the aforementioned date. Investors that initially entered through the repatriation mechanism before December 4, close of business day, may exit through the repatriation mechanism at any time. Fresh foreign currency portfolio investments, from this point forward, should be channeled through the interbank market.

The Foreign Exchange repatriation mechanism was heavily utilized by foreign investors at the initiation of the liberalization in order to guarantee liquidity. However, as the gains of the homegrown reform program became clearly demonstrated and the foreign exchange resources granted by the real economy flourished, Egypt’s external balances and various economic indicators have gained considerable strength since November 2016.

Egypt’s risk profile improved and its financial stability regained strength. As a result, confidence increased as was reflected in the elevated interbank market volume.

– EGYPT TODAY

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Economy

Nigeria issues N100b Sovereign Sukuk for subscription

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The Federal Government has begun the sale of its second tranche 7-year N100 billion Sovereign Sukuk, the Debt Management Office (DMO), said on Thursday.

The offer circular, which was obtained from its website, said the seven year Islamic Sukuk, referred to as Ijarah is at a rental rate of 15.74 per cent and would be due in 2025.

The bond, which is aimed at funding road infrastructure across the six geo-political zones, is payable semi-annually.

Subscription for the bond, which is guaranteed by the government, will close on Dec. 17.

The Sovereign Sukuk Offer

The circular said subscribers could purchase N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N10,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter with First Bank and Islamic wealth manager, Lotus Capital managing the sale.

The DMO said it qualified as securities in which trustees could invest under the Trustee Investment Act and as government securities within the meaning of Company Income Tax Act (CITA) and Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) for Tax Exemption for Pension Funds.

It will also be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and on FMDQ Over-The-Counter (OTC) platform and be classified as liquid asset by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

It is also certified by the Financial Regulatory Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE) of the CBN, the circular said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government had in 2017, raised a N100 billion 7-year debut Sukuk bond for the financing of 25 road projects across the six geopolitical zones of the country. (NAN)

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