Monday March 20, 2017
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A shopkeeper waits for customers at a souvenir shop at a popular tourist area in the Khan el-Khalili market, at al-Hussein and Al-Azhar districts in old Cairo November 9, 2016. — Reuters picA shopkeeper waits for customers at a souvenir shop at a popular tourist area in the Khan el-Khalili market, at al-Hussein and Al-Azhar districts in old Cairo November 9, 2016. — Reuters picCAIRO, March 20 — Egyptian Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said yesterday that the 2017-18 government budget would assume an exchange rate of 16 Egyptian pounds per dollar.

The rate he cited would represent a strengthening of the pound, which is currently at 18.12 to the dollar.

Speaking to local television channel CBC, Garhy also said foreigners had purchased treasury bills and bonds worth US$3.5 billion (RM15.5 billion) since Egypt floated the pound in November, and it was aiming for a total of US$10 billion in foreign investment in treasuries by the end of 2017.

Garhy said he is aiming for a growth rate of 4.8 per cent in the budget, which will be presented to parliament before March 31. Growth for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which ends in June, will be around 3.8 to 4 per cent, he said.

He said the budget has a target deficit of 9.25 per cent.

The budget would see 140 billion Egyptian pounds allocated for petroleum products, he said.

The 2017-18 budget prepared by the Finance Ministry must first be approved by the cabinet before being sent to parliament, which can either approve it or send it back to the government. If parliament approves the budget it will be signed into law by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. — Reuters

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