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| 08 February, 2018

Egypt T-bill yields fall to lowest since currency float

The yield on the 182-day bill fell to 17.358% from 17.611% at the last similar auction

A man counts his bills at a foreign exchange office in downtown Cairo June 5, 2014.

A man counts his bills at a foreign exchange office in downtown Cairo June 5, 2014.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
CAIRO - Average yields on Egypt's six-month and one-year treasury bills fell on Thursday, data from the central bank showed, extending a decline that has taken yields to their lowest levels since the country floated its currency in late 2016.

The yield on the 182-day bill fell to 17.358 percent from 17.611 percent at the last similar auction, and the yield on the 357-day bill fell to 16.435 percent from 16.679 percent.

The yields are the lowest since Egypt floated its pound currency as part of reforms tied to a three-year $12-billion IMF loan programme, a move that roughly halved the pound's value and sent prices soaring in the import-dependent country.

After the float, Egypt raised its key interest rates by 700 basis points to combat the price rises. The rate hikes initially sent T-bill yields up and encouraged foreign investors to snap up the debt.

T-bill yields have been gradually declining in recent weeks however. Yields on six-month bills have fallen from 19.14 percent one-year bills from 18.186 at an auction on Jan. 3

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Some economists have said they expect Egypt's central bank to begin cutting rates amid cooling inflation. The bank's monetary policy committee is set to meet on Feb. 15.

Egypt's annual inflation rates dropped in January to their lowest levels since the currency float.  

(Reporting by Eric Knecht and Arwa Gaballa) ((arwa.gaballa@thomsonreuters.com; +20 2 2578 3290;))