Algeria's forex reserves drop by $10.6 bln in 9 months

ALGIERS, Feb 3 (Reuters) - OPEC member Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $10.6 billion in the last nine months, central bank governor Ayman Benabderahmane said on Monday, adding to financial pressure caused by a fall in energy earnings.

“Reserves are now $62 billion,” Benabderahmane told state news agency APS.

Reserves totalled $72.6 billion at the end of April last year, official data showed, down from $79.88 billion in December 2018 and $97.33 billion at the end of 2017.

Algeria, a major energy exporter, depends on its oil and gas sales for 60% of government revenue. However, sales have fallen since oil prices began to drop in 2014 and Algeria’s foreign currency reserves have more than halved since then.

The government said in October that it plans to seek foreign loans in 2020 and cut public spending by 9.2% as it grapples with lower revenue from energy sales. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Susan Fenton)