Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are thought to be readying a financial aid package of $20bn (£12bn) to boost Egypt’s economy and support the incoming government of ex-Field Marshal Abdulfattah el-Sisi.
The oil-rich Middle East powerhouse Arab nations, which combined account for more than a tenth of the world’s supply of crude, have already held preliminary talks with authorities in Cairo to discuss how the line of funding will be structured, according to a report in the Arabic media over the weekend.
Abu Dhabi has already pumped $4.9bn into supporting the economy in Egypt – the most populous Arab states in the Middle East – as it seeks to support Mr El-Sisi and prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from rebuilding a legitimate support base on the back of a weak economy. The government in Riyadh has also pumped almost $5bn into supporting the Egyptian economy already as it seeks to influence events in Cairo and prevent a reawkening of political unrest across the region.
The brotherhood has been banned as a “terrorist” organisation in Egypt since the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi.
Qatar’s support for the brotherhood movement especially in Egypt had driven a wedge between Doha, Saudi Arabia and a number of other Gulf states . However, all sides in the Gulf Co-operation Council agreed to resolve their differences on the issue last month.
Egypt’s economy – once seen as progressive in terms of liberalisation and foreign investment – has failed to recover since the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime during the Arab Sprint uprisings which saw a number of governments in the region fall. El Sisi – who is backed by the army – is understood to have won 97 pc of the vote, according to state media last week.
Meanwhile, Egypt stock market plunged on Sunday amid reports that a new government would move quickly to impose a capital gains tax. The EGX30 benchmark index closed 4.22pc lower, or at 7,894.7 points, continuing to slide after trading was suspended after the broader EGX100 index fell by 5pc.
During the Arab Spring uprisings the Egyptian stock market was closed for a period of months.
Source: The Telegraph