With Saudi Arabia’s announcement of a $5 billion deposit with the Central Bank of Egypt on Wednesday, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that this move would enhance the stability of the foreign exchange market and consolidate the Egyptian economy amid severe pressure on the Egyptian pound.
In a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Riyadh said that the deposit comes as “an extension of the well-established historical ties and close bonds of cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt, and an affirmation of the depth of the deep-rooted relations.”
The SPA added that the Kingdom - in implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - deposited $5 billion with the Central Bank of Egypt, confirming the distinguished bilateral ties at all levels.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held a meeting on Wednesday with Dr. Essam bin Saeed, Saudi Minister of State for Shura Council Affairs, and his accompanying delegation.
The Cabinet said in a statement that the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia had signed an agreement for the Saudi Public Investment Fund to invest in Egypt.
According to the statement, the agreement aims to encourage the Saudi PIF to invest in Egypt and contribute to achieving the country’s goals in attracting investments in foreign currencies. The total volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Egypt in 2020 exceeded about $5.5 billion, and rose to $7.5 billion this year.
Bin Saeed pointed to large investment opportunities that would be presented to the Egyptian market through Egypt’s sovereign fund or partnership with the private sector.
Observers told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi move came following the recent devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar and other challenges, including fears of shortage and increasing prices of basic commodities, especially wheat and grain, as well as high oil prices that affect the state budget.