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Egypt’s net foreign assets turned sharply negative in February

Egyptian net foreign assets (NFAs) went sharply negative in February, declining by 60 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.29 billion) to minus EP 50.3 billion, central bank data showed on Sunday.

It was their fifth month of declines. An outflow of foreign currency helped prompt the central bank to devalue the pound by 14 percent on March 21. As of end-September NFAs stood at EP 186.3 billion.

NFAs represent banking system assets owed by non-residents minus liabilities. Changes in their size represent net transactions of the banking system with the foreign sector, including those of the central bank, according to the bank.

Any movement could represent changes in import or export flows, foreign portfolio outflows, repayment of foreign debt, changes in the flow of worker remittances or a slowdown in tourism, analysts said.

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $31.5 billion in 2021 from $29.6 billion a year earlier, the central bank said on March 14.