CAIRO - A foreign exodus from Egyptian treasury bills continued into May, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) data showed on Monday, after the Ukraine crisis and concerns about U.S. interest rate hikes prompted foreign investors to cash out their holdings.

T-bills held by foreign customers dropped in the month by 30 billion Egyptian pounds, at the time worth $1.61 billion, to 150.5 billion pounds, the CBE said.

In March, foreign T-bill holdings plunged by 128.7 billion but remained relatively stable in April.

Even before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Egypt had been working to sustain appetite for its treasury bills to plug current account and budget deficits and fend off pressure to let its currency weaken ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve rate hikes starting in March.

Many investors were also concerned that emerging markets would be more susceptible to any shockwaves resulting from the disruption of trade with Russia, including the resulting increase in some commodity prices.

Egypt has seen its currency slide to 19.10 pounds to the dollar from 15.70 pounds on March 20.

(Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by David Holmes)