Egypt's net foreign assets turned sharply negative in February

Egypt's Central Bank headquarters are seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt, March 22, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

CAIRO, April 3 (Reuters) - Egyptian net foreign assets (NFAs) went sharply negative in February, declining by 60 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.29 billion) to minus 50.3 billion pounds, central bank data showed on Sunday.

It was their fifth month of declines. An outflow of foreign currency helped prompt the central bank to devalue the pound by 14% on March 21. As of end-September NFAs stood at 186.3 billion pounds.

NFAs represent banking system assets owed by non-residents minus liabilities. Changes in their size represent net transactions of the banking system with the foreign sector, including those of the central bank, according to the bank.

Any movement could represent changes in import or export flows, foreign portfolio outflows, repayment of foreign debt, changes in the flow of worker remittances or a slowdown in tourism, analysts said.

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $31.5 billion in 2021 from $29.6 billion a year earlier, the central bank said on March 14.

($1 = 18.2300 Egyptian pounds)

Reporting by Patrick Werr Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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