CAIRO – Egypt's central bank says foreign currency reserves fell to $15.33 billion at the end of December, a $550 million drop from a month earlier.
The decline adds pressure on the government to attract much-needed foreign currency, with reserves currently less than half the $36 billion held before the 2011 uprising that toppled long-ruling autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt relies on foreign powers to bolster its reserves and finance its energy needs. Mubarak's elected successor, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, depended on wealthy Gulf nation Qatar, but after army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi overthrew him in July 2013 amid massive protests, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE stepped in. El-Sissi is now president.
Separately, the Cabinet said it would offer bonds worth $1.5 billion on international markets in order to attract capital.