Finance Minister Lauds S&P’s Decision to Maintain Egypt Credit Rating at B Level

by Local Media

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has stressed that the decision of Standard and Poor’s (S&P) to maintain Egypt’s foreign and local currency credit ratings at B level with a “Stable Outlook” for the second time in three months reflects the international institutions’ confidence in the Egyptian economy and its resilience.

He said that the S&P’s decision shows that Egypt managed to deal with international conditions in balanced and integrated ways to ensure the stability of the economic conditions, adding that the Egyptian economy’s future is stable in light of commitment to the pace of economic reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under a 48-month agreement.

In a statement on Friday, he added that this shows trust that the Egyptian economy can deal positively with local and international extraordinary economic conditions last year that were affected by the repercussions of the war in Europe and the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, he affirmed that Egypt is implementing a national economic reform program to ensure economic stability and boost the Egyptian economy’s competitiveness.

In its recent report issued on Thursday, S&P report said Egypt will continue to enjoy financial stability in the current fiscal year in light of what was achieved over the past years, citing a drop in total deficit to 6.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 6.8% of the GDP in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Maait indicated that the ministry continued to realize an initial surplus for the fifth straight year at 1.3% of the GDP in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The report commended the government’s efforts to rationalize spending and expand social protection programs to alleviate the impact of the international crisis.

S&P expected the average growth rate to reach 4% annually in the coming three years, the minister stated, adding that the S&P report referred to a noticeable improvement in the trade balance indexes of the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

According to the minister, non-petroleum exports rose by 29%. He noted that a huge surplus was registered in the petroleum balance at $4.4 B.

The Suez Canal revenues hit a historical record at dlrs 7 B and are expected to reach $8 B in 2023; he pointed out that the tourism sector’s revenues ratcheted up last year to register $10.7 B.

Foreign direct investments shot up by 71% to record $9.1 B against $5.2 B in 2020-2021.

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