The Egyptian international foreign reserves dropped to $15.3 at the end of December, compared to $15.8bn at the end of November.
In late November, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) repaid a $2.5bn deposit to Qatar based on a formal request from Doha. A $500m deposit was also repaid in October.
Governor of the CBE Hisham Ramez had downplayed the effect that repaying the deposits would have on the foreign reserves, expressing his optimism in the economic reforms made during the past months.
At the end of October, reserves recorded $16.9bn, compared to $16.872bn the preceding month.
During the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015, Egypt’s balance of payments (BOP) registered a $410m surplus. In the previous quarter, the BOP surplus totalled $3.7bn.
“The current account registered a deficit of about $1.4bn, against a surplus of $609.6m,” the CBE said. “The current account deficit was mainly traceable to the 29.2% rise in the trade deficit to post some $ 9.7bn.”
The trade deficit climb reflected the 17.9% increase in the merchandise imports, which amounted to $16.2bn. The deficit was also influenced by the 26.1% contraction in net unrequited transfers to reach some $6.2bn.