Egypt Independent

Foreign currency reserves rise to US$16 billion in May

Net foreign currency reserves climbed to US$16.039 billion at the end of May, up from US$14.4 billion at the end of April, the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) official website stated.

In April, Libya announced that it had deposited US$2 billion at the CBE to bolster the Egyptian economy while Qatar recently purchased dollar T-bills worth US$3 billion.

Egyptian foreign currency reserves plummeted from US$36 billion in 2011 to roughly around US$15 billion, hovering around this level for months. Economists say this level of reserves is only sufficient to cover Egyptian imports for three months.  

Egypt has suffered from the flight of foreign investments and a decline in tourism due to the political turmoil and the lack of security that plagued the country since the ouster of ex-President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 in a popular protest.

On December 30, 2012, the CBE began implementing a new mechanism to preserve Egyptian foreign reserves and rationalise their use by inviting periodical tenders for local banks to purchase or sell US dollars.

In April, the government said Egypt seeks to raise foreign currency reserves to US$16 billion by the end of June, lower than the previously aspired level of US$19 billion.