FILE - CBE
CAIRO – 4 February 2019: Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Lobna Helal announced Sunday that deposits of Arab countries in the bank amount to $17 billion, confirming that the debts of Qatar and Turkey have been paid in full.
Helal added that there are deposits for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE and that the CBE does not borrow usually, but some donors asked to put their deposits in the bank.
She also stressed that the debt indicators are not alarming as some believe, pointing out at the same time that debt should remain under control, indicating that the size of the external debt reached about $93 billion in December 2018.
This came during the Committee on Economic Affairs' meeting, which is currently being held to discuss a request to clarify the inflation of the state's debts internally and externally, resulting in huge burdens on the generations to come.
“A total of 75 percent of long-term debt comes mostly from donors such as the World Bank and the African Bank,” she stated, clarifying that "debt is not short-term and Egypt is committed to repaying the principal and interest on fixed dates and never fails to do so."
Helal pointed out that there are loans that went to development projects, which is considered a direct investment in the form of loans, pointing out that the average rate of interest is about 3.4 percent.
"The figure is large, of course, and according to the guidance of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, a committee was formed headed by the minister of planning, with the Central Bank as a member, for the analysis of figures and the limit of borrowing for the next period,” she added.
Helal explained that the commission is about to complete its first report to be submitted to the Council of Ministers.