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Egypt to sign soft loans of $575 mln with Japan, South Korea: Source

Bassem Abo Alabass , Sunday 28 Feb 2016
Smoke billows from the Shoubra El-Kheima power station, which is owned by the North Cairo electricity distribution company, on the Nile river in Cairo , April 28, 2014 photo (AP)
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Egypt will sign three concessional loan agreements with Japan and one with South Korea worth a total of $575 million to finance projects in energy and transportation, an official source familiar with the matter told Ahram Online on Sunday.

The signing of the financial deals comes as part of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s third tour to Asia, which started on Friday.

The loans will be at interest rates of less than one percent, to be repaid over a period of 50 years, including a 10-year grace period.

Japan's lending package includes a $155 million loan to expand Egypt's Borg Al-Arab airport, located about 50km southwest of Alexandria, said an official from Egypt’s International Cooperation Ministry on condition of anonymity.

The package will also include $305 million to boost the capacity of three state-owned electricity distribution companies and for the construction of a 20-MW photovoltaic station in the coastal city of Hurghada on the Red Sea.

“Egypt will also negotiate with Japan preliminary financial pledges of $482 million for the ongoing construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza and $335 million for power generation projects,” said the source.

Seoul will witness the signing of the first South Korean loan to Egypt during El-Sisi's visit, worth $115 million to finance an upgrade of the railway signalling system between the Qena and Luxor governorates in Upper Egypt.

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