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Egyptian treasury bills sales climb as yields increase

Baby, Person, Body Part Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
The Egyptian pound has lost more than 75 percent of its value against the US dollar since March 2022

Sales of 273- and 91-day Egyptian treasury bills at an auction on Sunday climbed from last week’s low after the finance ministry paid record high yields to partly reflect a 200-basis-point hike in central bank overnight interest rates on March 30.

Investors have sought higher yields to match the increased central bank rates and on the expectation the currency will continue to weaken after having lost half its value against the dollar over the last year, analysts say.

The finance ministry has struggled to keep its budget deficit from widening as it was forced to pay increasingly high interest rates on its large stock of debt.

The average yield on 273-day bills edged up to 23.341 percent from 23.059 percent last week. Both figures exceeding the previous record 22.444 percent reached on July 11, 2017.

The central bank only accepted 76 bids worth EGP5.58 billion ($181 million) for the 273-day bills out of the 203 bids worth EGP32.66 billion it received. Last week it accepted bids worth a mere EGP79.38 million.

The average yield on 91-day bills climbed to 21.297 percent from 20.924 percent last week. This was still shy of a record 22.523 percent average yield paid on July 11, 2017.

The central bank only accepted 239 bids worth EGP4.47 billion for the 91-day bills out of the 519 bids worth EGP58.55 it received. Last week it only accepted bids worth EGP324.1 million.