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Egypt Treasury bill Yields Rise after Saudi Withdraws Envoy
Egyptian treasury bill yields rose at an auction on Sunday and the central bank sold fewer bills than it offered after a diplomatic rupture with Saudi Arabia dampened appetite for government securities, traders said.
April 30, 2012 9:42 by kippreport
Egyptian treasury bill yields rose at an auction on Sunday and the central bank sold fewer bills than it offered after a diplomatic rupture with Saudi Arabia dampened appetite for government securities, traders said. The government had been counting on $1.75 billion in loans from Saudi Arabia this week to cover a budget deficit that is growing more acute as Egypt’s foreign reserves dwindle and as it approaches the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year on June 30. Funding from foreign donors such as Saudi Arabia has also been a key requirement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3.2 billion financial support package that Egypt has been seeking.
Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it was withdrawing its ambassador after protests in Cairo against the kingdom’s arrest of an Egyptian lawyer, marking a diplomatic rupture between the long-time allies. Egypt’s worsening fiscal position and its inability to reach consensus on a financial programme ahead of a presidential election scheduled to begin on May 23 also weighed heavily on Sunday’s auction, traders said. “The situation with Saudi Arabia, the IMF and political issues as we go towards our first democratic presidential election are putting pressure on the market,” one fixed-income trader in Cairo said.
Saudi authorities had planned to deposit $1 billion at Egypt’s central bank and buy T-bonds worth $750 million by the end of April, according to an Egyptian official.
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest employers of Egyptian expatriates and one of the top foreign investors in Egypt.
The central bank said it sold only 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($330.8 million) of 266-day bills at Sunday’s auction instead of the 3.5 billion pounds it had offered. The average yield edged up to 15.616 percent from 15.529 percent at the last issue on April 17.
(Additional reporting by Mohamed Samir; Editing by Susan Fenton)