FILE PHOTO - Egypt's Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer speaks at a news conference in Cairo
INTERNATIONAL –Egypt paid about $25 billion of its debt installments and their due interests from late March 2017 to the end of March 2019, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said on Wednesday.

The paid debts included $21 billion as debt installments and the rest as debt interests, said the CBE in its monthly report. Egypt's foreign debt rose to $06.2 billion by the end of March 2019, compared to $88.2 billion in the same period last year, according to CBE data released earlier in August.

Meanwhile, the domestic debt currently exceeds 4 trillion Egyptian pounds (about 248 billion dollars). In the first quarter of 2019, Egypt paid $3.04 billion dollars of debts, including $2.1 billion dollar as installments and 946.6 million dollars as interests.

CBE Governor Tarek Amer repeatedly reassured that Egypt's debts are "within safe limits according to international standards." Supported by a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Egypt started a three-year austerity-based economic reform program in November 2016, including local currency devaluation, fuel and energy subsidy cuts and introduction of value-added tax.

Despite consequent price hikes, the reform program achieved positive results that reflected on the country's growth rate, which hit 5.6 percent during the 2018/19 fiscal year that ended in late June, according to Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.

The IMF expects Egypt's foreign debts to decline to $88 billion by 2022 as a result of economic reform.

XINHUA