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Egyptian budget data show Sisi bounce, but details point to tough times ahead

Business is piling in behind President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s promise of an investor-friendly high-growth Egypt, but data published in the 2015-16 draft budget leave important questions hanging over Cairo about how major energy sector and other high-profile infrastructure projects will be financed. The budget’s headline figures suggest a difficult but gradually improving situation overall, but the details reveal a worrying dependence on a combination of external financing and the success of major development projects. Meanwhile, the ambitious programme of power sector expansion is forging ahead, seemingly disconnected from the country’s financial constraints but following the more bullish mood in the markets, reflected in the pricing of Egypt’s new $1.5bn sovereign bond.

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