Egypt discussing $5 billion finance package with Saudi, UAE

Reuters, Monday 19 Sep 2011

Finance minister says Cairo is open to 'all sorts of cooperation' with the International Monetary Fund, whose earlier offer of a $3 billion loan was rebuffed

Hazem El-Beblawi, Egyptian Minister of Finance

Egypt is discussing financial packages for budgetary and other support with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that could exceed a total of US$5 billion based on figures initially proposed, the Egyptian finance minister said on Monday.

Hazem el-Beblawi also told Reuters that Cairo was open to "all sorts of cooperation" with the International Monetary Fund, which offered a $3 billion financing package earlier this year that Egypt then turned down.

"I don't want to give the impression that I am going to negotiate for a loan, but I am going with an open mind," the finance minister said of talks he was due to have in Washington at IMF and World Bank meetings this month.

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