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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.