Egypt's foreign debt up 17.2 pct by end of June

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-09 22:40:13|Editor: yan
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CAIRO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's total foreign debt rose by 17.2 percent to 92.64 billion U.S. dollars by the end of June from 79.02 billion dollars at the same time last year, said Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Sunday.

The country's external debt marked an over 10-billion-dollar rise in three months, from 88.2 billion dollars at the end of March, the Prime Minister told Al-Watan, an independent daily newspaper.

"The country's expansion in foreign borrowing over the past period was meant to bridge the funding gap and solve the foreign exchange shortage crisis in the market," Madbouly was quoted as saying.

Some Egyptian economic experts believe that the country's external debt balance is normal and will decrease over time.

Egypt is currently going through an economic reform program that started in late 2016 with full liberalization of the exchange rate of the Egyptian pounds to contain dollar shortage.

The move urged the International Monetary Fund to support Egypt's reform plan with a 12-billion-dollar loan, two thirds of which have already been delivered to the most populous Arab country.

Egypt's foreign reserves stood at 44.42 billion dollars at the end of August, according to the Central Bank of Egypt, which repeatedly reassured that the country's foreign debt is still "within the safe limits according to international standards."