CAIRO — The head of the Egyptian Exchange says its benchmark index has made significant gains in 2017 thanks to economic reforms deemed key to salvaging Egypt’s economy.

Mohamed Farid told reporters Tuesday the EGX 30 has increased about 19 percent and annual trading has exceeded LE 292 billion (about $16.38 billion) this year.

Farid says the index has been the driving force behind making the Egyptian Exchange the top market in the Arab world. He says purchases by foreign investors registered LE 73 billion (about $4.1 billion) in 2017.

Farid added that the hikes reflect an improvement in the Egyptian economy.

Egypt has introduced economic reforms aimed at salvaging the country’s economy, which has been struggling since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

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