Foreign investment in Egypt’s debt pile hit an all-time high by the end of October, data from Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) revealed.
Foreign inflows in treasury bills (T-bills) registered $18.849bn at the end of October against $17.467bn at the end of September, an increase of $1.382bn, according to the CBE’s monthly bulletin released this week.
Foreigners have been heavily invested in government debt instruments since Egypt floated its currency in November 2016.
Overseas, appetite has also surged since authorities removed nearly all restrictions on the pound last year, helping end a hard currency crunch and secure a $12bn loan from the International Monetary Fund.
But the most recent data suggests that the demand has eased in November, according to Samy Khallaf, head of the Finance Ministry’s Public Debt Division, in a statement to Bloomberg.
Khallaf said last month that overseas investors held EGP 330.9bn ($18.8bn) worth of T-bills as of 15 November versus EGP 333.6bn a week earlier.
Foreign holdings of Egyptian treasury bills fell for the first time since the country floated the pound a year ago, as maturing notes exceeded new purchases, suggesting that demand for high-yielding Egyptian debt has peaked.
The flow of new money and the appetite to renew maturing notes may be waning due to seasonal factors, he said.
“We’re still seeing purchases from foreign investors, but maturities this quarter are larger than the previous one,” Khallaf said. “We’re also entering the holiday season, so it is normal to see lower activity from foreign funds.”
The slowdown suggests that some investors have allocated all they can to Egypt.
Meanwhile, the CBE report also noted that the total investments of Egyptian banks in government treasury bills hit EGP 564.349bn by the end of October, compared to EGP 549.96bn at the end of September, an increase of EGP 14.4bn.