September 24, 2018 / 12:54 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Egypt cancels 5- and 10-year treasury bond auction

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CAIRO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Egypt on Monday cancelled an auction of 5- and 10-year treasury bonds worth 3 billion Egyptian pounds ($167 million), its fourth consecutive cancellation in as many weeks, data from the central bank showed.

Three previous T-bond auctions had been cancelled after bankers and investors demanded high yields on the debt.

Three bankers said the yields requested at Monday’s sale were between 18.5 and 19 percent.

“The Ministry of Finance is trying not to lock in such high yields for an extended period of time. Historically, they have gone for months without issuing bonds and were able to raise all the funds they need via treasury bills,” another Cairo-based banker said.

Egypt on Sunday raised 19.16 billion Egyptian pounds at an auction for three- and nine-month treasury bills, central bank data showed.

Average yields on the three-month bills rose to 19.62 percent from 19.43 percent at the last similar auction, while average yields on the nine-month bills rose to 19.84 percent from 19.75 percent.

“To date in September, Egypt has raised 7.1 billion Egyptian pounds in excess cash through auctions. In August they raised a total of 12.7 billion pounds from treasury bonds, so you can presume the bulk of the shortfall has been covered by the increased issuance of shorter-duration bills,” said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Thursday that Egypt’s economy is proving “resilient” in the face of emerging market turbulence and can draw on additional sources of funding if needed.

Emerging markets generally have been shaken by an escalating trade war between the United States and China, as well as interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve which are attracting funds back to the United States.

The last known figure for foreign holdings of Egyptian treasuries was $17.1 billion at end of July, down from $17.5 billion at the end of June.

$1 = 17.8600 Egyptian pounds Reporting by Amina Ismail, Ehab Farouk, Nadine Awadalla and Patrick Werr; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Toby Chopra

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