(Adds previous $750 million payment, context)
CAIRO May 16 Egypt has paid off $750 million of
its debt to international oil companies and will make a second
payment of the same amount at the start of next month, Central
Bank Governor Tarek Amer said on Tuesday.
Egypt has struggled to pay arrears to foreign oil and gas
companies operating in the country, with outstanding debt at
$3.5 billion before the latest payment.
"Today $750 million was paid to international oil companies
and another $750 million will be paid on June 1, meaning that
there is $1.5 billion the government has committed to pay to the
international companies," Amer told a news conference.
The payments are the first since Egypt paid about $100
million in the last quarter of 2016.
Cairo has pledged to eliminate the arrears by the end of
June 2019 and not accumulate more, part of its drive to draw new
foreign investment to an energy sector that is attracting
interest following several major gas discoveries.
Amer said separately that Egypt has received $8 billion in
investment from 150 global investment funds over the past six
(Additional reporting by Omar Fahmy; Writing by Eric Knecht;
Editing by Mark Trevelyan)