February 3, 2019 / 10:38 AM / 5 months ago

Egypt's short-term dollar debt drops to $14 billion - finance ministry

CAIRO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Egypt’s short-term dollar-denominated debt fell $3.25 billion to about $14 billion by the end of 2018, the deputy finance minister said on Sunday.

Egypt has borrowed heavily from abroad after adopting a three-year economic reform programme backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since late 2016.

The government, which faces a tough debt repayment schedule, plans to issue foreign currency bonds early this year to raise $3 billion to $7 billion. It has also been periodically issuing dollar-denominated treasury bills.

Officials say they are trying to diversify sources of debt and lengthen its average maturity. “We succeeded in borrowing long term from international markets and using part of those funds to pay off short-term foreign debt,” Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk said in a statement.

Egypt’s foreign debt stood at $92.64 billion at the end of the last financial year in June, up 17.2 percent year-on-year. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk Writing by Aidan Lewis Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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