A key Egyptian negotiator with the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday he has resigned as first deputy finance minister, in a potential blow to Cairo's prospects of an early IMF deal.
Hany Kadry Dimian has been the crucial point man in Egypt's protracted and so far fruitless negotiations to obtain a $4.8 billion loan needed to help combat a severe economic crisis.
"The only comment I can make for the time being is that yes, my term ends on 30 April according to my resignation, which I submitted in December," Kadry told Reuters by telephone.
"My next move is not decided."
A senior technocrat appointed in 2007, Kadry survived five finance ministers in office since the 2011 uprising that overthrew former autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.
Kadry gave no explanation for his decision to quit, first reported on the Egyptian dissident Rebel Economy blog, saying he would say more on Tuesday.
A senior European diplomat said his departure was not a good omen for Egypt's hopes of wrapping up a deal on the long delayed IMF loan next month, as the government has said it aims to do.
Kadry was the one expert in the ministry who fully understood the IMF programme and was able to deal with the global lender professionally, the diplomat said.
A source at the Ministry of Finance said Kadry was uneasy about the rising influence of economists affiliated with the ruling Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, namely Abdallah Shehata, the current advisor to the minister.
Reports in Egyptian dailies have also alluded to internal disputes at the ministry.
Separately, the head of Egypt's bourse, Mohamed Omran, told Prime Minister Hisham Kandil he would like to leave his position at the end of his term on 1 July, the state news agency MENA reported, citing an unnamed official stock exchange source.
The report did not give a reason for Omran's request, but said he had told the prime minister in August he wanted to leave the post. Kandil had asked him to stay until the end of his term, MENA said.