Egyptian bank net foreign assets plunge in March
The foreign assets of Egyptian banks plummeted by 45 percent, or 162.12 billion Egyptian pounds, in March, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) data showed on Thursday, in another sign of how the coronavirus is halting emerging market economies.
The sharp decline, which equates to $10.34 billion, indicates commercial banks were picking up the slack to meet heavy demand for dollars as foreign investors fled the Egyptian treasuries market during the pandemic, economists said.
Foreign investment in Egyptian treasuries stood at between $13.5 billion and $14 billion, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Al Arabiya news channel on April 9. Foreign investors held nearly $20 billion in treasury bills alone as of the end of February, according to CBE data.
The foreign assets of banks dropped to 196.66 billion pounds at the end of March from 358.78 billion at the end of February, the data showed.