Foreign Holdings of Egypt Debt Reach $7.5 Billion, Official Says

CAIRO (Capital Markets in Africa) – Foreign investors are lapping up Egypt’s local-currency debt.

Overseas holdings of Treasury bills rose by more than 10 percent in a week to 136 billion pounds ($7.5 billion) as of May 30, Samy Khallaf, head of the Finance Ministry’s public debt division, said on Wednesday. That compares with about 10.1 billion pounds at the end of December, central bank data show.

Investors have been pouring money into Egyptian debt and equities since authorities removed most currency restrictions and raised interest rates in November to end a dollar-shortage and secure a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. The central bank raised interest rates again last week — by 200 basis points — as it sought to curb an inflation rate above 30 percent.

Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer described the level of investment since the last rate increase as “historic,” with about $850 million of inflows on Thursday and Sunday. The average yield on Egypt’s 12-month and 6-month T-Bills was 20.6 and 20.7 percent respectively in last week’s sales.


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