2022 – Egypt’s external debt rises by $8.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the city skyline and the Nile River from the Cairo Tower in the capital, Cairo, Egypt, December 5, 2019. (Reuters) / Amr Abdullah Dalsh / File Photo

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s net external debt rose by $8.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, central bank data showed on Sunday.

Analysts said Egypt increased borrowing to plug its current account and budget deficits even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, and the US Federal Reserve’s first rate hike in March.

The Federal Reserve pressured Egypt to raise interest rates, which increased the cost of borrowing, and the Ukrainian crisis raised the cost of imported goods and reduced tourism revenues.

Egypt has raised its key interest rates by 3 percentage points since March.

Central Bank data showed that Egypt’s total external debt rose to 145.5 billion dollars at the end of December from 137.4 billion dollars at the end of September.

The data showed that external debt was equivalent to 33.2% of GDP at the end of December, up from 32.6% at the end of September.

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