Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell to just $121.9bn at end-September, down from $129bn three months earlier and $178.9bn at end-2014, central bank governor Muhammad Lukal this week told parliament.

The country is on track to run a $20bn trade deficit this year, with export earnings (94% of which from oil and gas) covering just 57% of the cost of imports, based on January-September figures.

Despite this, Mr Lukal insists that the external financial situation remains...