Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves drop to $44 bln

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Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves currently stand at $44 billion, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said on Sunday.

That marks a rise from $42 billion at the beginning of March, but Tebboune noted that reserves have fallen over the past 18 months, from $53 billion at the end of 2019.

A drop in global oil prices in recent years has badly affected the North African country’s public finances as oil export revenues account for 60% of the state budget.

The fall in reserves has forced the government to try to reduce spending on purchases from abroad and rationalise expenditure intended for investment projects.

The authorities have, however, for now managed to keep foreign debt at low levels, and have repeatedly ruled out any plan to turn to loans from international institutions.

“The president stressed the need to establish the principle of non-external debt in order to enhance the sovereignty of Algeria,” the presidency said in a statement after a cabinet meeting chaired by Tebboune.