News / Economy

    Report: Egypt Delays IMF Loan Decision

    Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, Cairo, Oct. 3, 2013.Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, Cairo, Oct. 3, 2013.
    x
    Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, Cairo, Oct. 3, 2013.
    Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, Cairo, Oct. 3, 2013.
    Reuters
    Egypt has postponed any decision on taking a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF as financial aid from Gulf States has given Cairo some breathing space as it starts to conduct economic reforms, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din said on Tuesday.
     
    Bahaa El-Din said Egypt has so far received around $8 billion of a $12 billion aid package from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates promised in July, days after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
     
    The International Monetary Fund and Egypt have sporadically discussed a possible loan worth up to $4.8 billion to help the ailing economy since a 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak drove away tourists and foreign investors, two main sources of foreign currency.
     
    Any IMF deal, however, would require economic reform commitments that the government might find politically risky.
     
    “We have postponed that [IMF] decision for the time being. We are not under the extreme stress that the previous government found itself in,” Bahaa El-Din told a conference in London.
     
    “The assistance that we have from abroad ... This is money that has come at the right time to give us the breathing space to begin to implement those decisions at the pace and in conditions that are much more favorable than when you are pressed to have to sign an agreement today or tomorrow.”
     
    Bahaa El-Din said Egypt was expecting to receive $1 billion in aid from Kuwait but did not say when the cash could arrive.
     
    Some $3 billion out of total $5 billion aid from the UAE will be channeled through infrastructure and utility projects.
     
    He said Egypt is negotiating for more aid from the Gulf which has so far given the country cash transfers and oil shipments. On top of $8 billion, Egypt's central bank has received deposits from the Gulf to improve liquidity.
     
    “Now we all understand and appreciate that this is not a sustainable situation, we are not going to rely every year on getting this kind of money,” Bahaa El-Din said.
     
    “But it also comes to fill the gap that I have to assume is also non-recurrent.”
     
    The minister told Reuters later that he has also signed a $610 million aid package in total from the World Bank to help build a power plant and develop sewage.
     
    A central bank official told Reuters on Tuesday that Egypt returned $500 million to Qatar on Dec. 2 after Qatar refused to renew the deposit it had made with the central bank.
     
    Qatar was one of the few Arab states to support Egypt during President Mohamed Morsi's year in office but ties have deteriorated since July.
     
    About a dozen Egyptians who oppose the interim government backed by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi protested outside the Egyptian Cultural Office in central London where the briefing was held.
     
    After the briefing, they shouted “shame on you” to the participants, carrying banners that said “Sisi is a murderer” or a symbol adopted by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters after July.
     
    Relaxing controls
     
    Bahaa El-Din also said the government was in favor of relaxing capital controls imposed after the 2011 uprising. Capital controls help stabilize the currency but deter foreign investment Egypt badly needs.
     
    “Capital controls are not something a country likes to implement. It was imposed under very exceptional circumstances,” he said.
     
    “It's a function of where we are ... But you have the assurance of this government those capital controls will be relaxed as soon as possible. Some relaxations will be introduced by early next year.”
     
    The central bank has limited Egyptians from transferring more than a cumulative $100,000 out of the country since the 2011 uprising unless they can demonstrate a pressing need for the funds. Many wealthier Egyptians have reached their limit and are no longer able to send funds abroad.
     
    Depositors at banks can only withdraw a maximum of $10,000 in foreign currency per day under central bank rules, but in practice many banks restrict such withdrawals to much less and demand documents proving why the client needs the funds.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9036
    JPY
    USD
    102.32
    GBP
    USD
    0.7297
    CAD
    USD
    1.3005
    INR
    USD
    68.004

    Rates may not be current.