Egypt's foreign reserves jump to 44.06 bln USD by end of February

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CAIRO, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's foreign reserves rose to 44.06 billion U.S. dollars by the end of February compared to 42.6 billion dollars by the end of January, the Central Bank of Egypt said on Monday.

Last December, Egypt's foreign currency reserves fell to 42.551 billion dollars from 44.513 billion dollars in November, the first drop since November 2016.

Egypt's foreign currency reserves have been witnessing continuous increases since 2014.

Over the past few years, Egypt has been suffering an economic recession because of political instability and relevant security issues that led to the decline of tourism and foreign investments, two major sources for Egypt's foreign currency reserves.

But Egypt's forex started to recover under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who was backed by some oil-rich Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait through financial support.

Improving security condition, increasing remittances of Egyptian expatriates abroad as well as more foreign loans and deposits have refilled the Central Bank with foreign funds.

To boost the economy, bolster forex and contain dollar shortage, Egypt started in late 2016 a strict three-year economic reform program including imposing austerity measures, fuel and energy subsidy cuts and tax increases, in addition to local currency's full floatation that led to nationwide price hikes.

Egypt's reform program is encouraged by a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund. Enditem

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