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CAIRO: The average yields on Egypt's three- and seven-year treasury bonds fell at an auction on Monday, central bank data showed, almost a week after the country's foreign currency reserves rose past their pre-2011 level.

Egypt's central bank said last week the reserves increased by $4.73 billion at the end of July to $36.04 billion, greater than they were before a 2011 uprising scared away tourists and foreign investors, two main sources of foreign currency.

Yields on treasury bills and bonds have been dropping since the central bank's announcement, with economists suggesting improved dollar liquidity is reducing the government's borrowing costs.

The average yield on the three-year bonds dropped to 16.813 percent on Monday from 18.652 percent at the last such auction on July 24. The seven-year bond yield fell to 16.750 percent from 18.596 percent.

Similarly, average yields on Egypt's three-, six-, nine- and one year treasury bills have all fallen by more than 100 basis points since the central bank's foreign reserves announcement.

Egypt's central bank has raised its key interest rates by 7 percentage points since the flotation of the pound in November as part of an International Monetary Fund programme to revive the economy.

The high interest rates have encouraged foreign investors to buy up Egypt's debt, attracting some $9.8 billion in foreign investment in domestic debt instruments in the 2016-2017 fiscal year that ended in June, compared with $1.1 billion the previous year.

Egypt's economy has been deteriorating since the 2011 uprising, but the three-year, $12 billion IMF programme signed last year, which includes tax increases and subsidy cuts, is hoped to put the country back on the right track.

 

Copyright Reuters, 2017