Egypt economy woes could lead to a review of subsidies

By REUTERS
December 1, 2011 15:45

 
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CAIRO - Egypt's foreign reserves will plunge by a third to $15 billion by the end of January and the budget deficit will grow, possibly leading to a review of sensitive subsidies, an army official said on Thursday, highlighting the nation's dire finances.

Reserves have tumbled since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak as foreigners have fled and tourists packed their bags, hurting two of Egypt's main sources of hard currency.

The central bank put reserves at $22 billion at the end of October, down $2 billion from a month earlier and showing a faster fall than previous months. Economists said even that level left limited firepower to cope with a looming currency crisis.

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