Egypt is close to obtaining new deposits from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to bolster the reserves of the Central Bank and pave the way for resuming the International Monetary Fund program that was signed last year, sources told Daily News Egypt.
The sources said that the deposits under negotiation would amount to $5bn and would be later transformed into investments over several years.
The Central Bank holds about $29.9bn in deposits from Arab countries, divided between $15bn in medium to long-term deposits from the Gulf and $14.9bn in short-term deposits from the Gulf and Libya.
The sources added that there is a preliminary agreement to renew the existing deposits of the two countries, which will mature next year.
This comes as Egypt faces a shortage of foreign currency liquidity and a rise in its external obligations, just weeks before the completion of the International Monetary Fund review.
The Emirati deposits at the Central Bank total about $10.7bn, split between $5.7bn in the long term and $5bn in the short term. Qatar has deposits of around $4bn, Saudi Arabia has $10.3bn, and Libya has $900m.
According to the Central Bank of Egypt, the net international reserves increased to $34.97bn at the end of September 2023.
In a related context, the sources indicated that the next period would witness debt swap deals with several countries that lend to Egypt, to ease the burden of the government’s external debt, following the example of the debt swap deal signed with China.
The Cabinet said in a statement last week that Egypt and China had signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of debt swap for the implementation of development projects.
The memorandum of understanding aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field of debt swap for the implementation of development projects, which is one of the innovative financial tools that support the efforts of the Egyptian government in partnership with the Chinese side to achieve sustainable development, through using portions of Chinese debt to implement development projects agreed upon by both sides.