The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced that the balance of payments realized a surplus of US$ 4.9 billion during the period (July 2007 - March 2008) versus US$ 3.1 billion surplus during the same period of last year. According to al Ahram newspaper, this rise was mainly attributed to the net inflow in the capital and financial account, which amounted to US$ 3.6 billion.
The surplus on the current account resulted from the surplus realized on both the services balance and net unrequited transfers, which outpaced the increase in the trade deficit.
Merchandise exports increased by US$ 4.9 billion or 31.1 percent, to reach US$ 20.8 billion. This was ascribed to an increase of 35.4 percent in oil exports, and 27.4 percent in non-oil exports (mainly raw materials and finished goods). Meanwhile, merchandise imports scaled up by US$ 11.3 billion or 43.1 percent, to US$ 37.6 billion. The increase was due to the tangible increase in oil imports, and the 31.5 percent rise in non-oil imports, (due to the increase in all merchandise groups, particularly intermediate goods which accounted for 32.2 percent of the total increase in imports).
The services balance achieved a surplus of US$ 10.9 billion during July/March 2007-2008 against US$ 8.6 billion during the corresponding period of the previous FY. This increase was attributable to a step-up in the following components: tourism revenues rose by 32.9 percent to US$ 8.2 billion; transport receipts increased as Suez Canal proceeds picked up by 22.8 percent to US$ 3.7 billion as a reflection of the rise in the number of transiting ships and net tonnage; and investment income edged up by 11.3 percent.
Net unrequited transfers surged by 27.7 percent to US$ 6.4 billion during the reporting period, from US$ 5.0 billion during the corresponding period of the previous FY.
As for transactions on the capital and financial account, foreign direct investment in Egypt achieved a net inflow of US$ 11.3 billion during July/March 2007-2008, up from US$ 9.0 billion during the comparison period. Net Greenfield investments amounted to US$ 5.7 billion against US$4.1 billion during the comparison period. Moreover, FDI in the oil sector unfolded net inflows of US$ 3.7 billion against US$ 2.1 billion, while selling of domestic companies to foreign investors posted US$ 1.8 billion in the reporting period, against US$ 2.8 billion in the comparison period.