Egypt's foreign debt climbed by $3.5 billion in the three months to the end of December, according to central bank data released on Thursday.

Total foreign debt rose to $168.0 billion from $164.5 billion at the end of September and $162.9 billion at the end of December 2022.

Egypt has quadrupled its external debt since 2015 to help fund a new capital, build infrastructure, buy weapons and support an overvalued currency.

A chronic shortage of foreign currency after the Ukraine crisis triggered an exodus of foreign investors, causing the government to seek support from the International Monetary Fund, which in March agreed to an $8 billion package.

Egypt agreed to cut back spending on large government projects as part of the package.

The foreign debt, 82.5% of which was long term, was equivalent to 43% of gross domestic product, the central bank said.


(Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by Sharon Singleton)