Egypt to receive $2.75 bln from IMF on Friday if board approves loan

Ahram Online , Friday 11 Nov 2016

Sisi, Lagarde
File Photo: Photo: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) meets IMF's managing director Christine Lagarde(L) on sidelines of G20 summit meetings (Photo Courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)

Egypt is expected to receive an initial $2.75 billion from the International Monetary Fund on Friday once its board approves Egypt's request for a $12 billion loan, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday during a press briefing.

Rice said a board meeting will take place on Friday to decide on the Egyptian request for the fund facility.

"So the board meeting is tomorrow. And it will immediately count toward Egypt's gross international reserves," Rice said.

The statements comes only a few days after IMF Director Christine Lagarde said she would recommend that the request be approved "in support of this ambitious economic reform programme that will help restore macroeconomic stability and bring Egypt’s economy closer to its full potential."

In mid-August Egypt reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF on a $12 billion fund facility over three years.

Last week, the IMF welcomed Egypt's central bank decision to float the country's pound, saying that it would “boost competitiveness and attract foreign investment.”

The IMF has endorsed Egypt's fiscal reform programme, which the government embarked on in 2014 in an attempt to curb the growing state budget deficit, estimated at 12.2 percent of GDP in 2015/16.

The programme includes cutting subsidies and the introduction of new taxes, such as the newly ratified value-added tax.

Egypt relies heavily on imports and has been suffering from an acute foreign currency shortage since the 2011 revolution and the following unrest, which have spooked investors and tourists.

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