Egypt’s current account records $8.2bn deficit in FY 2018/19: CBE

Hossam Mounir
2 Min Read

Egypt’s balance of payments (BOP) recorded an overall deficit of $0.1bn in fiscal year (FY) 18/19, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on Monday.

The country’s current account recorded a deficit of $ 8.2bn in FY 2018/19 up from $6bn a year earlier.

Official figures released by the CBE show that the oil trade balance recorded $8.1m surplus for the first time since FY 2012/2013, compared to a deficit of $3.7bn, as a result of the leap in investments in the oil and gas sector.

The main driver behind the increase was the hike in oil exports proceeds by 31.7% to $11.6bn, accompanied with a decline in oil imports payments by 7.5% to $11.5bn, as Egypt halted natural gas imports.

However, CBE’s figures show that Egypt’s non-oil trade balance deficit widened by 13.4%, to register $38bn, up from $33.6bn a year earlier, driven by the rise in non-oil imports by 8.6% to $55bn.

The services surplus rose by 17.2% to $13bn, as the increase in services receipts outpaced that in services payments. The most significant of which was the tourism receipts which recorded $12.57bn.

According to Pharos holding, the surge in tourism receipts is very positive.

On the other hand, investment income deficit rose by 32.3% to record $8.3bn, driven mainly by the pickup in investment income payments to $9.3bn, while the capital and financial account recorded a net inflow of $8.5bn.

Net inflows of portfolio investment in Egypt recorded $4.2bn. However, net portfolio investment in Egypt recorded net purchases of $10.1bn in the second half of the year following net sales of $5.9bn in the first half of the year.

Moreover, net inflows of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in Egypt declined to record $5.9bn down from $7.7bn.

Net disbursements of medium -and long-term loans and facilities recorded $ 4.2bn compared to $7.9bn.

Finally, remittances recorded a slight decrease to record $25.150bn down from $26.393bn, which is insignificant according to Pharos holding.

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