Egypt secures 60% of finances required for IMF loan: PM

Egypt has succeeded in securing 60 percent of the $6 billion in financing required to receive a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), state news agency quoted Prime Minister Sherif Ismail as saying on Tuesday.

Egypt and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement in mid-August on a $12 billion fund facility over three years, which is awaiting approval from the fund’s executive board.

The Egyptian government needs to secure $6 billion in bilateral financing for the first year of the three-year programme to seal the deal and get final approval from the IMF’s executive board.

Sherif did not reveal the sources of the 60 percent secured finances.

Last week, a central bank official announced that Egypt received a $2 billion deposit from Saudi Arabia.

Egypt’s net foreign reserves rose in September to $19.591 billion up from $16.564 billion in August, the CBE said earlier this month.

The IMF has endorsed Egypt’s fiscal reform programme, which the government embarked on in 2014 in an attempt to curb the growing state budget deficit – estimated at 11.5 percent of GDP in 2015/16. The programme has included cutting subsidies and the introduction of new taxes, such as a value-added tax.

IMF director Christine Lagarde said in a press briefing earlier this month that “there are several prior actions which need to be completed before the board can actually meet in order to formally approve [the loan],” adding that the remaining actions are “in relation to both the exchange rate and in relation to subsidies.”

Source: Ahram Online

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