Egypt Independent

Central Bank: US$5 bn in foreign investments left Egypt in six months

A total of US$5 billion in foreign investments

left Egypt during the last six months, the Central Bank of Egypt announced Wednesday.

The bank also said direct foreign investments declined by 94.1 percent, or $1.75 billion, in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

The total investments in the country in that period had amounted to $2.25 billion, compared with $2.14 billion that left.

Investments by the European Union fell significantly, compared with the quarter before, and decreased from $4.2 billion to $1.76 billion — an amount equivalent to 72.2 percent.

The World Bank warned that delaying or halting aid to Egypt would have serious ramifications on the balance of payments, due to low levels of cash reserves.

The Central Bank has spent more than $20 billion in foreign reserves to support the pound since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 as turmoil has chased away tourists and foreign investors.

Reserves fell by $448 million in November to $15.04 billion, enough to cover barely three months of imports, and bankers said the rush to buy dollars was certain to have drained foreign reserves even further in December.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm