IMF’s $12 bln loan ‘not enough’ to save Egyptian pound: ex-finance minister

A $12 billion IMF loan will definitely support Egypt’s foreign reserves and budget but it won’t be enough to curb the sharp decline in the national currency against dollar, an ex-minister says.

The International Monetary Fund announced earlier on Thursday it has reached a deal to assist Egypt with a three-year loan programme worth about $12 billion tied to economic reforms.

The government has to take more measures to end speculation against the Egyptian pound even if it would take to adopt emergency law against violators, former minister of finance Momtaz al-Saeed told Amwal Al Ghad on Thursday.

Adopting more depreciation or floating the Egyptian pound against dollar is not the answer to the country’s dire shortage in foreign currency reserves, al-Saeed said.

Al-Saeed further said precautionary measures are needed to protect both market and citizens against price hikes, high inflation, and monopoly, which are all the outcome of the successive depreciation of the pound against the dollar.

The Egyptian official, who is also a board member at state-run National Investment Bank, asserted that shutting down foreign exchange bureaus would not end the black market trading, saying a clear vision and mechanism would do to maximise the country’s financial resources.