CORRECTED-Tunisia's foreign currency reserves still below level seen as adequate

Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:21pm EDT

(changes figure to 94 days from 96 days)

TUNIS, June 27 (Reuters) - Tunisia's foreign currency reserves have hit just 94 days of import cover, for the first time below the level the central bank considers adequate, due to a plunge in foreign investments and tourism revenues, the bank said on Thursday.

Tunisia's central bank said foreign currency reserves stood at 10.473 billion Tunisian dinars by June 26, equal to 94 days of import cover and compared with 100 days a year earlier.

Central Bank Governor Chadli Ayari has said that Tunisia needs to maintain foreign reserves that cover at least 100 days' imports.

Tourism and foreign investment have slumped since a revolution that toppled Tunisia's former ruler two years ago, mirroring a similar situation in Egypt which is grappling with a budget crisis since its own revolution.

Bank said the decline in imports of foreign currency is due to an increase in the trade deficit and decline in investment and tourism revenues.

It kept the interest rate at 4 percent.

The North African country, which has also signed a $1.7 billion standby-loan agreement with the International Monetary fund (IMF), is struggling with rising inflation, a big external deficit and an uncertain political outlook. (Reporting By Tarek Amara Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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