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Egypt eyes $15 billion finance package from China: Minister

Bassem Abo Alabass , Sunday 17 Jan 2016
Sahar Nasr
International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr talks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, Egypt, December 8, 2015 (Reuters)
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Egypt is in negotiations with the Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM) and other Chinese banks to secure a $15 billion financing package – including commercial and soft loans – for FX reserves support and projects in energy, transport and sanitation, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said on Sunday.

Part of the package is expected to be invested in the infrastructure of Egypt's planned new administrative capital, said Nasr.  

More details on the financial deal will be announced during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Cairo, scheduled to take place from 20 to 22 January, Nasr told Ahram Online in a text message from the Chinese capital Beijing, where she is attending the inauguration of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

“A separate deal will be announced with AIIB once Egypt’s membership in the bank is ratified," Nasr said, without specifying the amount.

Earlier on Sunday, Egyptian ambassador to Beijing Magdi Amer said the Central Bank of Egypt is expected to sign a $1 billion loan deal with China to back its foreign currency reserves, which have stabilised at around $16.4 billion in the past three months, according to state news agency MENA.

The National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr are also seeking $700 million and $100 million in loans respectively to finance projects and SMEs, Amer added.

Egypt also announced last week plans to borrow $1 billion in a concessional loan from a Chinese bank to finance the establishment of sanitation networks in 260 villages in the Nile Delta, according to housing and utilities minister Mostafa Madbouly.

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