Egypt foreign debt hits 93.1 bln USD: central bank

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-06 02:48:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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CAIRO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's total foreign debt rose to 93.1 billion U.S. dollars by the end of September 2018, up half a billion dollars from the end of June 2018, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The ratio of the balance of external debt to the GDP amounted to 35.4 percent, which is still within the safe limits according to international standards," the CBE pointed out.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a press conference that the country's budget deficit declined to 3.6 percent of the GDP in the first half of the current 2018-19 fiscal year, compared to 4.2 percent in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Egypt's fiscal year starts in early July and ends in late June.

Maait noted that the country's average budget deficit was 5.3 percent of the GDP over the past three years, adding that Egypt targets GDP growth of 5.6 percent this fiscal year and 6 percent in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The minister attributed the improvement in the general budget to "a leap in public revenues" which rose by 28.4 percent from July to December 2018 because of the continuous improvement of tax revenues that increased by 22.2 percent.

Egypt's economy has been battered by years of turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

However, the country has recently been showing signs of economic improvement amid strict economic reform measures including tax hikes and energy subsidy cuts recommended by the International Monetary Fund that supports Egypt's economic reform plan with a 12-billion-dollar loan.