IMF & Egypt Work Out Economic Program For US$ 3.2 Loan

The International Monetary Fund said it was staying in close touch with Egyptian authorities as they work out a budget and round up political support that would make an IMF financing package possible.

“A financial arrangement to support Egypt’s economic program will be presented to the IMF Executive Board once this work is completed and external financing from bilateral donors and other international institutions is confirmed,” the IMF said in a statement.

An IMF mission was in Cairo from March 25 until Tuesday discussing details of an IMF-backed economic program. Egypt has sought a $3.2 billion financing arrangement from the IMF, following political turmoil that has heightened balance of payments pressures.

Earlier this month, the IMF said there would have to be broad political support from all political parties in the country before loan talks could be concluded, and it reiterated that point on Tuesday.

The IMF statement did indicate progress was being made.

“There was a shared understanding on the need to address short-term challenges facing the economy and to promote reforms that can help achieve higher and more inclusive growth going forward,” the IMF said.

Any deal would need the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which has nearly half the seats in parliament, Reuters reported.

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