The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced on Tuesday evening that its net international reserves increased to $34.003bn in December 2022, compared to $33.532bn in November 2022, a growth of about $468m.

It is the largest increase in Egypt’s international reserves since August. It is also the fourth consecutive increase in reserves, bringing the total rise to $860m from September to December.

Last December, Egypt paid about $1bn in external debt, and the banks operating locally offered more than $5bn to release imports stuck at ports during the month.

According to a source, who spoke to the Middle East News Agency, the current reserves covers 5.4 months of Egypt’s imports, which exceeds the measures of reserve adequacy according to international standards.

According to the Central Bank’s website, the value of gold listed in its international reserves increased to $7.326bn, compared to $7.078bn in November 2022, an increase of $248m.

The volume of foreign exchange in the reserves also rose to $26.669bn compared to $26.444bn, an increase of $225m, while the Special Drawing Rights declined to $13m from $15m.

Egypt’s foreign reserves consist of a basket of major international currencies, including the US dollar, the euro, the pound sterling, the Japanese yen, and the Chinese yuan.

The primary function of the foreign exchange reserve at the Central Bank, with its components of gold and various international currencies, is to provide basic commodities, pay installments and interest on foreign debts, and confront economic crises, in exceptional circumstances, with the impact of resources from hard currency-generating sectors.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly confirmed during an earlier meeting with Governor of the CBE Hassan Abdullah that increasing foreign exchange reserves is a top priority for both the government and the Central Bank.

In this context, work is underway during the current period to intensify joint efforts to develop dollar resources, by attracting more foreign direct investments, in addition to stimulating the tourism sector, as well as the initiative regarding cars for Egyptians working abroad and others.

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