8.5 billion USD in foreign investment left Egypt in 3 months

Egyptian Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait revealed that around $8.5 billion in foreign investments in government debt instruments have left Egypt during the last three months.

Maait told Al-Arabiya channel on Thursday that foreign investments in government debt instruments are now between $13.5 and $14 billion, after the exit of funds from the country.

The minister confirmed in January that foreign investments in government debt instruments had reached $22 billion since the liberalisation of exchange rates since the end of December 2019.

Egypt became dependent on external borrowing and hot foreign money flows on debt instruments to provide US dollars, along with basic sources such as Suez Canal revenues, tourism and remittances of Egyptians abroad, while exports did not witness a growth compared to the step of liberalising of the exchange rate in late 2016.

The Egyptian minister reduced economic growth forecast for the current fiscal year 2019-2020 to a range between 4.5 per cent and 5.1 per cent, instead of the 5.7 per cent that was expected due to the implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

The economic growth rate of Egypt in 2018-2019 was approximately 5.6 per cent.

The growth of the Egyptian economy depends on the development of tourism, significant remittances made by the Egyptians working abroad and the expected production rates of newly discovered gas fields. However, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will strongly affect the tourism, aviation and industrial sectors in the country.

Maait added that the decision to reduce gas and electricity tariffs for factories would cost the state around $10 billion.