Egypt’s foreign reserves jump by $1bn, says Central Bank

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Egypt's foreign currency reserves rose by $1 billion to $14.42bn in April, the Central Bank said on Wednesday, as Egypt struggles to pull itself out of economic crisis.

Reserves had fallen to $13.42 at the end of March.

The April jump includes a $2bn loan from Libya, but reserves are still short of what authorities say are a "critical minimum" of $15bn.

Last month, Tripoli granted Egypt an interest-free $2bn loan, to be repaid within five years with a three year grace period, officials said.

State news agency Mena quoted an economics expert as saying the rise is due to several factors, including the Libyan deposit and regulations imposed by the Central Bank on foreign currency transactions.

In December, the Central Bank warned that its reserves had fallen to critical levels at $15bn, only enough to cover three months of imports.

Negotiations over a crucial $4.8bn loan from the International Monetary Fund are stalled pending economic reforms by the government.

Egypt's reserves have dropped from $36bn since a popular uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The country has been gripped ever since by political instability and economic decline.