Egypt T-bill yields climb on currency, IMF concerns

CAIRO Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:37pm EST

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CAIRO Jan 6 (Reuters) - Yields on Egyptian treasury bills rose at an auction on Sunday, extending a trend of rising rates as investors fret over the weakening Egyptian pound and the fate of a $4.8 billion IMF loan the government is seeking.

Political strife in recent weeks over a new constitution has put pressure on the pound as Egyptians scrambled to sell local currency, forcing the central bank to impose a new currency regime on Dec. 30 to preserve depleted foreign exchange reserves.

The pound, which hit a new record low of 6.44 pounds against the U.S. dollar on the interbank market on Sunday, has lost 4 percent of its value since the new regime was introduced.

The average yield on 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($156 million) of 91-day bills rose to 13.581 percent from 12.962 percent at the last auction on Dec. 23.

The yield on 4 billion pounds of 266-day bills rose to 14.429 from 13.482 at the Dec. 23 auction.

Investors are also worried that Egypt will not be able to enforce tax increases required if it is to secure a badly needed loan from the International Monetary Fund to help support its struggling economy. A senior IMF official is due to arrive for talks in Cairo on Monday, officials said.

The central bank sold all the bills it had offered.

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