Egypt: Debt repayments hover

Egypt was anticipated to repay about USD 13B in international debt maturing in 2018. But on 16 October 2017, in a move expected to alleviate some pressure on its finances, Saudi Arabia and the UAE agreed to extend the maturity of USD 4B worth of deposits to Egypt.

Debt due to be repaid in 2018 include deposits obtained by Egypt from Saudi Arabia worth USD 2B, USD 2B from the UAE, and USD 2B from Kuwait, in addition to USD 2B obtained from Libya in 2013. Since 2013, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have given Egypt around USD 8B, including USD 2B deposits from each, at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).On 16 October 2017, both countries agreed to extend the maturity of the deposits. Meanwhile, China has approved the renewal of a USD 2.7B currency swap agreement signed in 2016 to facilitate trade and improve foreign currency liquidity.

Discussions between Egypt and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) during the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in October 2017 resulted in several agreements.

The four main agreements include:

1. A new cooperation strategy with Egypt with a total funding of USD 3B for 2018-2020;

2. The establishment of an office for the bank in Cairo;

3. An increase of IDB’s support for several projects, notably for Egyptian entrepreneurship, and;

4. The bank is set to offer investment guarantee and insurance services to Egypt through its agency, the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit.

Egypt is the fourth largest shareholder in the 56-member IDB with a share of 9.22%. The top-5 beneficiaries of IDB financing since inception in 1974 to date are Bangladesh (13.6%), followed by Egypt (7.7%), Pakistan (7.6%), Turkey (7.6%) and Morocco (4.7%).During this period, total financing for these five countries represented about 46% of total IDB net project approvals.

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