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|18 July, 2018

Egypt remittances expected to rise nearly 50% to $26bln for FY 2017-18

Remittances from Egyptians abroad are expected to hit $26billion for the 2017-18 fiscal year that ended in June

An employee counts money in a foreign exchange office in central Cairo, April 15, 2015.

An employee counts money in a foreign exchange office in central Cairo, April 15, 2015.

REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

CAIRO- Remittances from Egyptians abroad are expected to hit $26 billion for the 2017-18 fiscal year that ended in June, the central bank said late on Tuesday, a nearly 50 percent jump year-on-year but less than an earlier projection.

Remittances have surged since Egypt floated its pound currency in late-2016 and drew hard currency back to its official banking system, drying up a then-thriving black market for dollars.

The central bank said earlier this month that remittances had reached $26 billion for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, but Tuesday's statement revised that 10-month figure down to $21.9 billion.

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Still, the $26 billion year-end total marks a 49 percent rise from the $17.453 billion Egypt netted the previous fiscal year according to central bank data.

Remittances have become a crucial source of hard currency for the import-dependant country, which has struggled to significantly boost exports or foreign direct investment despite tough economic reforms tied to a $12 billion IMF loan programme it began in late-2016.

(Reporting by Eric Knecht and Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Jon Boyle) ((eric.knecht@thomsonreuters.com; +20 2 2394 8102; Reuters Messaging: eric.knecht.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))