Egypt Reforms ‘Very Impressive’, No Negotiations On Loan Programmes: Lagarde

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Egypt’s economic reforms have been deemed “very impressive” by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

Lagarde’s announcements came during an interview with Al-Arabiya satellite channel at the IMF annual meeting in Washington.

Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Hisham Ramez stated that he will meet with Lagarde on Sunday.

An Egyptian delegation headed by Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa El Ehwany, Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman, and the CBE governor is currently attending the annual IMF meetings.

On 7 October, the IMF’s World Economic Studies Division Chief Thomas Helbling discussed the country’s economic outlook, saying that the situation in Egypt and many Middle Eastern countries remain difficult.

“I think specifically in Egypt the political situation has begun to stabilise,” Helbling said, adding that “some economic stabilisation has been achieved”. In particular, fiscal consolidation has started, which we thought was important to re-establish confidence, also for investors going forward.”

During the Euromoney conference in September, the IMF’s Mission Chief to Egypt Chris Jarvis said the country needs growth and job creation over economic stability.

Jarvis said the IMF welcomes the changes to the subsidies regime that were recently introduced, adding that taxes are “very important steps in the right direction”.

In August, Dimian denied media allegations that Egypt is negotiating with the IMF over a $10.4bn loan.

The minister added, however, that Egypt intends to invite an IMF delegation before the end of 2014.

The purpose of the visit would be to discuss the status of the Egyptian economy as entails the agreement between the IMF and its members, he said.

Lagarde confirmed the minister’s announcements during her interview, adding that “we are not talking [about a loan] programme at the moment”.

Source: Daily News Egypt