UPDATE 1-Egypt current a/c deficit shrinks in fiscal year to March

Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:15am EDT

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CAIRO, June 19 (Reuters) - Egypt's current account deficit narrowed in July-March, supported by stronger tourism revenues and a shrinking trade deficit, data showed on Wednesday.

The current account deficit shrank in the nine months to end-March to $3.9 billion compared to $7.1 billion in the nine months to March 2012, the central bank said in a statement.

Offering slight respite to an economy hurt by dwindling foreign currency reserves, the first three quarters of the fiscal year saw tourism revenue rise to $8.08 billion, up 14 percent on a year earlier. Unrest following the revolution of early 2011 discouraged visitors.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inched up to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion in the first nine months of the last fiscal year.

This was mainly a result of a contraction in net investment outflows in the oil sector, which stood at $607.5 million, down from $2.1 billion.

Workers' remittances rose, bringing $13.9 billion into Egypt, up from $12.9 billion.

The trade deficit narrowed 2.7 percent to $23.8 billion with merchandise exports rising to $19.8 billion while merchandise imports were steady at $43.6 billion.

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