Egypt will offer dollar-denominated treasury bills this month for the fourth time as it awaits an agreement on a loan from the International Monetary Fund to meet financing needs.
It will offer one-year tax-free securities valued at $500 million (Dh1,836 million) tomorrow, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. It raised $3.5 billion at auctions of similar-maturity bills starting in November at an average yield of about 3.9 per cent.
Egypt will sign an agreement with the IMF for a $3.2 billion loan in March, state-owned Al Ahram reported yesterday, citing Finance Minister Momtaz Al Saeed. Egypt needs to secure money from the fund as part of its drive to meet financing needs of about $11 billion by June 2013, he said February 10. The government is seeking parliament's approval of the loan before signing the agreement.
"These dollar T-bill sales are attracting local banks for the most part because foreign investors want higher yields," Mustafa Assal, head of fixed income at Cairo-based Beltone Financial Holding, said by telephone. "They are a short-term alternative to financing their needs but the locals will start demanding higher yields soon, so Egypt is running out of time."
Egypt's 5.75 per cent dollar bonds due in 2020 were little changed, yielding 7.33 per cent on February 17, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The pound weakened less than 0.1 per cent to 6.0412 per dollar, the lowest level since January 18.
The central bank sold 3.5 billion pounds (Dh2.1 billion) in nine-month pound-denominated T-bills yesterday at an average yield of 15.906 per cent, two basis points lower than that paid at a similar sale a week ago. Rates on local-currency securities are still near the highest level since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 2006 because of growing pressure on bank funds and persistent political unrest since President Hosni Mubarak was forced out.