Egypt’s foreign debt up 42 pct to $79 bln

Egyptians walk in front of the Egyptian Central Bank in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. Egypt has devalued its currency by 48 percent, meeting a key demand set by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $12 billion loan over three years to overhaul the country's ailing economy. The much heralded decision by the Egyptian Central Bank to devalue the pound followed a sharp and sudden decline this week in the value of the dollar in the unofficial market, plunging from an all-time high of 18.25 pounds to around 13 to the U.S. currency. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

 

Egypt’s foreign debt rose to $79 billion in the 2016-17 fiscal year which ended in June, up 42 percent from 2015-16, the central bank said.

The cash-strapped country has been borrowing from abroad to fund its budget deficit and boost its balance of foreign reserves after a years-long dollar shortage sapped its ability to import and slowed economic activity.

“Foreign debt is within the safe amounts as per international standards,” the bank said in a report that came out late on Thursday.

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