Foreign currency reserves rise to high level in two years

The foreign currency reserves reached nearly 17 billion dinars, corresponding to 95 days of import as at August 9, 2019, up 35.3% over the same period last year, the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) said on Wednesday.

At the same date last year, foreign currency reserves were just under 11 billion dinars, equivalent to 71 days of imports.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had approved the payment of a 247-million-dollar instalment (about 730 million dinars) for Tunisia, which represents the sixth instalment of the extended fund facility.

The BCT also reported a 14.5% volume increase in banknotes and coins in circulation, to 14.2 billion dinars at August 9, against 12.4 billion dinars in 2018.

Tourism revenues in the first seven months of this year grew to 2.7 billion dinars from 1.9 billion dinars in the same period last year, central bank figures showed.

Tunisia expects to receive a record 9 million tourists by the end of 2019 after recovering from the impact of extremist attacks targeting tourists in 2015.

The BCT officials said the opening of 25 foreign exchange bureaus since March had also helped the increase in foreign currency stocks.

Currency purchases from these bureaus in June was about 7 billion dinars compared with 5 billion in May. The central bank of Tunisia has agreed to set up another 20 new bureaus, increasing the total to 45.


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