Egypt’s faltering economy sustained yet another blow when the Egyptian Central Bank announced on its web site on Sunday that the country’s foreign exchange reserves declined from $18.59 billion at the end of October to $17.76 billion at the end of November, a loss of nearly $825 million. This comes after Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves had already lost around $310 million over the previous two months. Foreign exchange reserves, also known as forex reserves or FX reserves, are assets held by central banks and monetary authorities, usually in different reserve currencies like the dollar or euro.
The governor of Egypt’s Central Bank, Hisham Ramez, had noted during the Egypt-Gulf Investment Forum in Cairo on Wednesday that “foreign exchange reserves slightly declined in November due to Egypt’s foreign financial obligations and economic conditions,” without providing further details on the size of the decline. He also confirmed that Egypt had returned a $3 billion deposit to Qatar.
This is the third month in a row that Egypt suffered losses in its foreign exchange reserves, after losing nearly $110 million in October and $200 million in September. However the country’s current foreign exchange reserves are still large enough to cover nearly three months of imports, an internationally acceptable rate according to economic analysts.