Egypt's foreign debt up more than 10 percent from last year

2018-08-06 21:26
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Egypt's foreign debt has climbed more than 10% in less than a year, reaching $88.2bn in March, the central bank said on Monday, despite a raft of painful austerity measures aimed at cutting government spending.

Foreign debt is 11.6% higher than in June of last year, but the central bank said the debt to GPD ratio is still within "safe limits according to international standards," at 36.8%.

Egypt has been struggling to revive its economy after the years of unrest that followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

The government secured a $12bn loan from the International Monetary Fund in 2016 for an economic reform programme that included slashing fuel and electricity subsidies, imposing a value-added tax and floating the currency. Foreign debt stood at $67.3bn in December 2016.

Egypt recently introduced a new wave of price hikes for fuel, drinking water and electricity, as well as for new cellular phone lines and cellphone bills. Prices for issuing passports and car licences also went up steeply.

The austerity measures have taken a heavy toll on poor and middle-class Egyptians.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who was re-elected earlier this year in a vote in which all potentially serious rivals were arrested or withdrew under pressure, has repeatedly called on Egyptians to be patient, saying the long-overdue reforms will pay off with time. Last month, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly said Egyptians should start benefiting from the reform programme within two years.

The IMF praised the reforms in May, pointing to the country's 5.2% growth rate, a percentage point higher than the previous year.

Egypt says its foreign reserves have increased to $44bn as of May, the highest level since before the 2011 uprising.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    imf  |  egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.