Bankers predict further decline in foreign reserves

Experts have predicted a further decline in the Central Bank’s international reserves by the end of April, having reached US$30.1 billion at the end of March, compared with US$33.2 billion in February, and US$36 billion in December.

“The decline in reserves was a direct result of an increased deficit in the balance of payments, reduced tourism revenues and reduced remittances from Egyptians working abroad,” said Central Bank Deputy Governor Hisham Ramez.

Ramez explained that the Central Bank did not rely on its reserves in offsetting money market speculation and controlling the stock exchange, but rather in purchasing certain strategic commodities during the recent events.

“We need to accelerate economic recovery,” he said, adding that there were no minimum reserve levels that should be a concern.

However, Ahmed Adam, a banking expert, pointed out that the continuing decline in the Central Bank’s international reserves would reduce imports of essential commodities.

For his part, Investment Authority board member Sherif Sami said some investors had withdrawn from the stock market, leading to a further depletion of foreign exchange resources. He called for the promotion of tourism, solutions to the problems of exports, and efforts to promote security and political stability.

Raouf Kedwany of the Development Bank called on the caretaker government to activate foreign exchange resources, promote investment and communicate with foreign companies in order to create dollar resources instead of relying on reserves.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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