Egypt’s net foreign reserves mostly unchanged as IMF deal in focus

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Egypt’s net international reserves saw a slight decline in August, as authorities strive to secure International Monetary Fund assistance and more investments from Gulf allies.

The figure was $33.142 billion last month versus $33.143 billion in July, the central bank said Wednesday in a statement. It’s the lowest since June 2017, according to Bloomberg calculations.

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The North African nation is racing to buttress the economy after Russia’s war on Ukraine sent food and fuel import bills soaring and helped spur an exodus of foreign portfolio investors from the local debt market.

Egypt’s government has said there’s reassuring progress in talks with the IMF on a so-called Extended Fund Facility.

The reserve figures are being closely watched amid speculation on how the most populous Arab nation will handle its external funding gap and debt commitments. Pressure is mounting on the Egyptian pound even after it was devalued by about 15 percent in March, with economists and analysts saying it needs to fall further.

Gulf nations have pledged more than $22 billion in deposits and investments to help Egypt ride out the economic shock-waves of the Ukraine conflict. Only a fraction of those investments have yet been finalized.

Read more: Egypt backs flexible pound amid devaluation calls, IMF talks

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