Egypt to sign final financial agreements with Saudi Arabia worth $22bln: Officials

Bassem Abo Alabass , Tuesday 5 Apr 2016

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) and Saudi King Salman (Reuters)

Egypt will sign the final version of four funding accords with Saudi Arabia worth roughly $22 billion, to come into effect as of Friday, during King Salman's first official visit to Cairo, official sources said on Tuesday.

The Saudi King Salman, who took power in January 2015, visited Egypt in March 2015 for the Arab League summit in Egypt's southern Sinai city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Of the four accords, the North African nation is expected to finalise two framework agreements of soft loans signed in March, with the first worth around $20 billion to finance its five-year petroleum needs from the oil-rich kingdom, and the second worth $1.5 billion for 12 development projects in Sinai, the sources told Ahram Online on condition of anonymity.

The government will also sign an agreement of a concessional loan worth 450 million Saudi riyals (around $120 million), which was approved by the Saudi Development Fund (SDF) in January to renovate Cairo's historical Kasr El-Aini hospital.

Another $100 million loan, approved by the SDF in November 2015 to finance the expansion of the West Cairo power station to generate an additional 650 megawatts, is also among the deals to be completed, sources said.

“Other memorandums of understandings for new projects are scheduled to be signed with the Saudi side during the king’s visit,” said one of the sources.

Saudi Arabia has supported Cairo with billions of dollars in aid, grants, oil products and cash deposits to help buoy the country's economy following the toppling of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. 

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