Egypt’s Suez canal reports record high $5.585 bln annual revenue
Egypt’s revenue from the Suez Canal for the 2017-2018 financial year rose 11.5 percent to a record high $5.585 billion (4.20 billion pounds), the canal authority said in a statement on its website.
Revenue a year earlier was $5.008 billion, it said.
The financial year has not yet finished, however. Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to the end of June.
The canal authority did not explain why it had released figures ahead of the end of the fiscal year.
It announced on Saturday increased revenue in May, and predicted a record yearly figure, attributing this to increased international trade and improvements in the shipping industry.
Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi invested in an expansion of the Suez Canal which began in 2014, one of the former military commander’s mega-projects designed to revive an ailing economy and restore the country’s place as an important trade hub.
Egypt’s finances were hit badly by unrest that followed a 2011 popular uprising which toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
Critics have slammed some projects, including the Suez expansion, as a waste of money.
Cairo is also imposing a raft of harsh austerity measures tied to a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which some economists say are helping get the economy back on track, but which have hit ordinary Egyptians hard.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ahmed Elhamy and John Davison; editing by Jason Neely)