Balance of Payments Deficits Shrank Remarkably in 2021 to $1.98B

According to BDL’s latest monetary report, the BOP recorded a cumulative deficit of $1,976 M by end of December 2021, compared to a deficit of $10,550M over the same period last year. Accordingly, Net foreign Assets (NFAs) of BDL fell by $4,583.3M, while the NFAs of commercial banks added $2,603M by December 2021.

On a monthly basis, the balance of payment recorded a deficit of $399.8M in December 2021.

For a meaningful analysis, we examine the NFAs of commercial banks. For the month of December, the reduction in foreign liabilities is larger than the decrease in foreign assets. On the liabilities side, “Non-resident financial sector liabilities” and “Non-resident customers’ deposits” witnessed a reduction by $69.51M, and $228.45M to reach $4.87B and $22.50B, respectively by December 2021. On the asset side, “Claim on non-resident customers” has decreased by $104.8M to reach $2.83B by December 2021. In addition, the NFA of BDL declined by $339M, as BDL has made some intervention on Fx market through the “Sayrafa” rate.

On a related note, BDL issued Circular 158 in mind 2021 which provides binding instructions to banks to pay back gradually their customers’ foreign currency deposits. The circular applies to all accounts opened before 31/10/2019 and calculated based on the accounts as of 31/3/2021, and involves payments of 400$ per month per account. This circular will decrease gradually the foreign assets of the commercial banks. In addition, BDL issued circular 161 in late 2021 which allow banks to sell dollars provided by BDL at the “Sayrafa” exchange rate. This circular, in turn, will likely decrease the foreign asset of BDL, as well as reducing temporary the parallel market rate.

Balance of Payments (BoP) by November (in $M)

Balance of Payments Deficits Shrank Remarkably in 2021 to $1.98B

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