The volume of cash flows into the Egyptian economy since the flotation of the pound in November 2016 has exceeded LE100 billion, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Tarek Amer announced in a press statement on Tuesday.
On the sidelines of the Financial Technology conference ‘Seamless North Africa’, host by Egypt for the first time on February 6-7, Amer added that the idea of establishing digital banks is being looked into, and mentioned that the CBE intends to implement an expansive monetary policy soon, but only after ensuring that inflation is controlled in order to avoid any reverse reaction.
Meanwhile, the CBE announced on Sunday that foreign currency reserves rose by $1.2 billion, to reach another record high of $38.209 billion at the end of January 2018.
The cash reserve stood at $37.019 billion at the end of December 2017.
Foreign reserves have been rising on a monthly basis since October 2016, according to the CBE.
CBE sources also announced in January that Egypt had repaid $30 billion of debt to foreign bodies in 2017. They added that the country is determined to pay a further $12 billion in debts and commitments in 2018.
2017 payments included bonds and debts to international banks, such as the African Export Import Bank, deposits and loans received from Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Turkey, in addition to financial commitments to the Petroleum Authority and the creditors’ group – The Paris Club.
The sources also explained that Egypt has began negotiations with several Gulf creditors to extend the duration of the repayment periods, which they deposited at the CBE.
Ismail Hassan, the former Governor of the CBE, said that Egypt’s foreign debts remain within a safe limit. He added that Egypt’s foreign reserves had not been affected by debt repayments.
Remittances paid a major role in strengthening Egypt’s foreign currency reserves, from November 2016 to November 2017, the total sum of remittances sent to Egypt from expats working abroad reached $24.2 billion, the highest recorded level in Egyptian history.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm