UAE’s Dana Gas receives overdue $20 million additional payment from Egypt

Sharjah-based Dana Gas said Sunday it has received an additional $20 million (AED 74 million) from the Egyptian government as another partial payment of its outstanding receivables.

Today’s payment was in Egyptian pound, while the $50 million received a week earlier on May 18, the company added in a statement.

The two payments together represent 25 percent of Dana Gas’ total overdue receivables of $283 million for Egypt, it stated.

Egypt, which owed international oil companies a total of $3.5 billion before the two recent payments, is struggling with paying its dues amid a shortage of dollars despite the floatation of its pound in early November.

The currency devaluation was a prerequisite for the IMF’s $12 billion extended fund facility, granted to help address the country’s economic challenges. The IMF loan helped ease a dollar shortage that was crippling the country.

The Washington-based lender reached a staff-level agreement with Egyptian authorities last week to unlock the second instalment of its three-year facility totalling $1.25 billion, subject to approval by the lender’s executive board. Egypt expects to receive the funds in June, bringing the total from the IMF to $4 billion.

Dana Gas has halted further investment in the country until the gap tightens on arrears, focusing on only completing projects under way.

“The art in Egypt is to balance our collections with our expenditures, and we’re continuing to walk that tightrope,” said Patrick Allman-Ward, the chief executive of Dana Gas, told The National last week.

But he added it does not mean that if the right offer came along, the company wouldn’t sell its Egypt assets.