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Egypt foreign reserves down $1.68bn

People walk past a currency exchange shop displaying a giant US dollars banknote in downtown Cairo on November 3, 2016. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
People walk past a currency exchange shop displaying a giant US dollars banknote on November 3, 2016 in Cairo, Egypt [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt's net foreign reserves hit $35.495 billion at the end of May, compared to $37.123 billion in April, marking a decline of $1.628 billion, the Egyptian central bank announced yesterday.

The bank said in a statement that the decline had resulted from "payments of external debt due during May," adding that it was estimated at "$2 billion."

The statement added that the payments included the "entitlement of coupons for government bonds issued by the ministry of Finance, in addition to dues to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)."

"The dues and foreign reserve uses come within an expected and usual context," the bank explained, stressing that the net balance of international foreign reserves at the end of May was "sufficient and covers about five months of commodity imports."

READ: Egypt's unemployment down to 7.2% in Q1 2022

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