CAIRO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Yields on Egyptian 182-day treasury
bills edged up and held steady on 364-day bills at an auction on
Thursday, suggesting a recent slide in rates may have run its
course for now until Egypt agrees an IMF loan to shore up its
Egyptian borrowing costs had fallen sharply in recent weeks
as a new government stepped up efforts to secure $4.8 billion
from the International Monetary Fund.
Talks have begun but a visit to Cairo by an IMF team that
was supposed to happen in late September was delayed this week
until late October as Egypt finalises its economic reform plans.
The average yield on 182-day bills worth 1 billion Egyptian
pounds ($164 million) for issue on Oct. 9 was 13.221 percent, up
from 13.059 percent for bills issued on Oct. 2, according to the
central bank, which sells them for the Finance Ministry.
The average yield on 3 billion pounds worth of 364-day bills
was 13.757 percent, little changed from the 13.803 percent on
bills issued on Sept. 25.
In both cases, the central bank sold the same amount of
bills it had offered on behalf of the Ministry of Finance.
The ministry cancelled a T-bill auction on Wednesday in a
move traders said was intended to show the government was intent
on holding rates down.
"I think we will pause at these levels for a while. We
dropped by as much as 2.5 percentage points in just a few
weeks," said a fixed-income trader, adding that current levels
were still attractive to banks and acceptable to the ministry.
He said foreigners would remain cautious until Egypt secured
the IMF loan.
"I don't see us going below 13 percent until there is some
major change such as an IMF loan or some large external sums
being finalised," the trader added.
($1 = 6.0950 Egyptian pounds)
(Additional reporting by Tom Pfeiffer; Writing by Edmund Blair;
Editing by Toby Chopra)