Egypt’s external debt increased by $8.1 billion in the last quarter of 2021


A view of the city skyline and the Nile from Cairo Tower in the capital of Cairo, Egypt December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

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CAIRO, May 29 (Reuters) – Egypt’s net foreign debt rose by $8.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, central bank data showed on Sunday.

Egypt had increased borrowing to fill current account and budget deficits even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and the first rate hike by the US Federal Reserve in March, analysts said. Read more

Fed hikes have prompted Egypt to raise its own interest rates, pushing up borrowing costs, and the Ukraine crisis has increased the cost of imported goods and reduced tourism revenues.

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Egypt has raised its benchmark overnight interest rates by three percentage points since March. Read more

Egypt’s total external debt reached $145.5 billion at the end of December from $137.4 billion at the end of September, according to central bank data.

External debt was equivalent to 33.2% of gross domestic product at the end of December, down from 32.6% at the end of September, the data showed.

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Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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