April 22, 2019 / 10:57 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 3-Egypt expects borrowing needs to hit $48 bln in fiscal 2019/20 - document

(Adds new finance ministry statement)

CAIRO, April 22 (Reuters) - Egypt expects its borrowing needs to reach 820.7 billion Egyptian pounds ($48 billion) in fiscal year 2019/20, a 26 percent increase from the previous year, the draft budget seen by Reuters showed.

The draft showed domestic borrowing would rise 45 percent to 725.2 billion pounds, while foreign borrowing would fall 36 percent to 95.6 billion pounds.

Egypt expects interest on debt to climb 23.8 percent to 541.7 billion pounds from 437.4 billion pounds a year earlier.

It plans to issue 435.1 billion pounds worth of treasury bills, against 350.8 billion pounds budgeted for the 2018/2019 fiscal year, a 24 percent increase, the draft showed.

It also foresees a 93 percent rise in treasury bond issuance to 290.1 billion pounds, from 150.3 billion.

The draft budget said decreasing interest rates on local debt would help expand the issuance of medium- and long-term bonds instead of bills.

Egypt also aimed to review the general rate of its value-added tax (VAT), the draft said, introduced as part of reforms tied to an International Monetary Fund loan. It will review the list of exemptions in the 2019/20 fiscal year.

An official at the Finance Ministry told Reuters that any change to the VAT regime would not be imminent.

“There is no intention to adjust the general price of the value-added tax in the coming period at all,” the official said. “The matter will be studied in the coming months and year. There is no specific vision or intention to adjust at the moment.”

The ministry said in a statement that “the draft budget for 2019/20 does not aim to amend or increase taxes in general”.

The document also said Egypt aimed to issue its first green bonds in the 2019/20 fiscal year to finance environmentally friendly projects.

It further aimed to raise tax revenue to 865.5 billion pounds from 759.6 billion pounds, a 13 percent increase, the document showed.

Egypt is targeting 67.1 billion pounds in revenue from taxes on cigarettes and tobacco, a rise of around 15 percent, the draft showed.

$1 = 17.1375 Egyptian pounds Reporting by Ehab Farouk Writing by Yousef Saba and Sami Aboudi Editing by Jan Harvey and Edmund Blair

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