Egypt receives AfDB, World Bank’s $1.5bn first trance: minister

Egypt has received US$1.5 billion worth of the first tranches of both African Development Bank and World Bank’s loans, Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr announced Friday.

The North African country has received US$500 million as part of a $1.5 billion loan agreement reached between Egypt and the AfDB last December. The AfDB’s loan is of 0.6 percent interest, with a five-year grace period to be paid over 20 years.

As for the World Bank’s loan, Egypt has received the first $1 billion tranche of a US$3 billion loan agreed upon on 19 December. The WB loan is with an annual interest of 1.6 percent, and a five-year grace period to be paid over 35 years.

Minister Nasr told Amwal Al Ghad that the sum had been transferred to the Central Bank of Egypt, dedicated to support the country’s reserves of foreign currency.

The country, whose foreign reserves have fallen to $16.4 billion from $36 billion before the uprising which ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in January 2011, is in dire need of foreign funds to plug a financing gap.